What does it mean to be truly connected in this day and age?
For one, it means being a part of a much more realistic worldwide web than the one on my phone or computer screen. It means connecting with real people and recognizing that those connections have implications and expectations.
So writes Colleen Gibson in “Creating a true worldwide web of solidarity and action.”
These thoughts were triggered by her experience of her friends “signing in” at a rally for a social cause. By signing in each one of her friends was there . . . but they also weren’t.
She continues her reflection.
We were made to be in relationship with one another. From the very beginning, each one of us was born into a web of relationships. Over time, we grow in these relationships and with each new person we meet, our webs become intertwined. There’s no helping it. The true task of our living, though, is to recognize the nature of this entanglement.
For every action I undertake, every word I speak, every person or situation I engage, I pull on the strings of my web. Thus, when I am lifted up those I am bound to by relationship are lifted up too. Or when I try to sever a relationship, the change in tension in the web impacts all the other bonds I sustain.
It can be easy to forget these connections in the everyday, to try to fend for ourselves. Such thinking, however, is a false perception. The way I act or choose to live my life will impact others whether I realize it or not. The attitude I project into the world will rub off on others. The clothes or the food I buy are bound up in other people’s lives and livelihoods. The choices I make for balanced or healthy living have implications near and far.
We are all members of a worldwide web, and our membership in this global system makes us responsible to and for the entirety of the system. We are not alone; we are all one.
Framing our connection in such a way draws us not only into the hearts of one another, but ultimately it leads us into the heart of God. This is the One who stands with us. Bound by humanity, Christ knows the perils and pitfalls of the web of relationships we belong to.These are not easy connections; they cost something, and yet, they form us in our being present to them. They call us to a consciousness of others so that in the web of such relationships we might find God.
A few moments reading her entire reflection will be moments well spent.
What does it mean for you to be made to be in relationship with one another?
For further thoughts visit How can we make the digital connection personal?