Do you ever feel the need to make a stand for something you believe in and speak your truth, even when it is hard and you feel a bit like you are swimming against the tide? I feel this way about choosing the cheap and easy option over connecting with others.
The online world and technology offers me many cheap and easy ways to do so many things like, buying any consumer good imaginable,organise travel, accommodation, do banking, buy take away food, check out my groceries, watch movies, organise transport, and communicate with others. But who, is missing out when I take the cheap and easy option? I am. And what am I missing out on? Connection with others. I am also missing out on an opportunity to support my local community. And it makes me lonely. As George Monbiot explores in his Guardian article 'The age of loneliness is killing us'.
Technology is amazing, and has brought us so many wonderful things, but I think I need to aware of some of the downs sides as well. And a big downside for me is choosing the cheap and easy option i often means I am missing out on connection and community. As humans, we are social creatures who cannot survive without and prosper without love and connection. The truth is we are interdependent with others and our environment - we would not be able to live for a second without the kindness of others and nature.
So with this growing awareness i decided to devote last Tuesday to being mindful of choosing connection over cheap and easy. There was a book, I was interested to buy on 'living more sustainably in the suburbs'. I had found it on a website and was just about to order it on Amazon when I remembered I was choosing connection and support over cheap and easy. So, I decided to order it from my local bookshop. Next, I wanted to plan a trip to Tassie to visit my dad. Again, online I went and was about to book. Fortunately again I remembered, and decided to go to our local travel agent. Next, I had some banking to do and some bills to pay. Again, I went to my computer. No, I would go to the bank and post office instead.
So, off I went to my local shopping centre to order the book, book the airfares to Tassie, and go to the bank, supermarket and post office. It took me longer and probably cost a little more, but I had the wonderful opportunity to connect with and support others. I love our local bookshop and the people there, I met a lovely young travel agent, Rosie who was just starting out, shared with the bank teller, went to the check out person and had a fun conversation, went to my local fruit and vegetable shop and had fun with the great family there too. I also had the opportunity to be outdoors and enjoy the beautiful gardens and the others going about their days. In contrast I would have spent the time alone at home on my computer getting the jobs done faster and more economically, but at what cost? I would have been lonely and missed the wonderful opportunity to connect with and support my local community.
I realize I am very fortunate to have this opportunity to choose. Many don't, they do not have the awareness, knowledge, education or resources, including money and time, which make such choices possible. I do not want to stand in judgement of myself or others, but instead share the wonderful benefits I am grateful to have found when I chose to do my best to connect and support others. For me, they far outweigh the ease and money saving, lure of the technological alternative. We need to remember to be compassionate and kind to ourselves and others. The changes do not need to be big or all at once, but maybe you have some opportunities to be more aware, and give connection and support to others, too. I hope so.
Here are some ways to connect I find it useful to try to remember. You might want to give them a try.
AWARE - to be aware of prioritising connection and support over ease and saving money.
BREATHE - do 3 mindful breaths. This allowed me the freedom to respond from that wise spot, instead of reacting from the unhelpful habit of criticising back. Or criticising myself either.
CONNECT with KINDNESS
What came up, from that wise spot was CONNECT AND SUPPORT OTHERS
DO - from that wise spot
And that is what I did - gratefully, went off to the local shops to connect and support.
Thank you subscribers
As always it is wonderful to connect and share with you. I better hop of my computer and go and connect with others.
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