December 20, 2015

Where is the love?

I know it’s that time of the year where all is good and jolly, but for a while I have struggled with some negativity and I thought that now would be a good time to let it go. 
I’m not sure whether this has anything to do with my star sign or the fact that I have been raised with stories of the goodness in people, that I do not yet look for the worst in humankind, at the first go. When I meet someone new, I am usually excited – and find myself thinking that perhaps we will be great friends, perhaps I will find someone as driven to believing in good, perhaps this person will be conditioned to giving just as I am, and perhaps I won’t be the only foolish one in the room anymore. 
I’m sure by now you have realised that this is a rant; but I promise that it has premise. 
Quick quiz:
– When was the last time you saw a friend’s text, but just decided to ignore it (by being crafty and not letting the double ticks turn blue)?
– When was the last time you received an email, and just didn’t bother to reply?
– When was the last time you spent some time or money or effort (or all of the three) on someone who wasn’t you or immediate family?
– When was the last time a package was delivered to you and you couldn’t bother enough to inform the recipient?
While I’m sure some of us do this quite often, not out of a vendetta, but just as habit. 
Care to know why?
Because we couldn’t care less.
My parents tell me stories of a society where neighbours looked out for each other, where people who lived and worked with you were as much family as the one you were born in. A world in which not every single person thought about just themselves, and only their interests first. To imagine that this actually existed some 60 years ago. How alien. 
Today, the majority of people around me are nothing like this. Not even remotely close. Most of the extended family is pretentious. the colleagues just need something done, most ‘friends’ just need to hear something reassuring when they reach out – and there are mostly months of silence in the middle. There is little warmth in these relationships and the emptiness I feel honestly scares me. 
Being an only child and having grown up without too many friends, I remember the exhilaration when I first moved to India and met people of the same wavelength as me. There was SO much to share, new things to be learnt, new relationships to be forged. Some of the best years of my life. But alas, today, it’s just me, again. 
My father often complains about the fact that life is so lonely – it never felt like to him before and because the feeling is so foreign, it frazzles him. He tries his best to keep in touch with old friends, family, acquaintances – but it is so difficult to explain to him that they couldn’t care less. 
Albeit a little more evolved, I have similar issues. 
– I text people when I think of them – often I hear from them after days. Or maybe not even that. So much for the research that says that the average Millennial cannot stay away from their smartphones for more 23 minutes.
– I send people little things on important days in their lives, because it makes me happy – there have been six instances this year when I’ve had to go back to them to ask “Have you received it?”. Apparently it is too much to expect to be informed on receipt.
– I email friends with music and videos that we used to share when we were in the same geography – more often than not, the emails go unanswered. Or even worse, sometimes I hear the “I never received it.” 
– I treat most relationships equally – be it someone I’ve never met and only know through the Internet, or someone I’ve been to a fair number of happy hours to. Why would I think that the feelings of someone whose face I do not have to deal with daily, is more disposable than a friends’?
How does one deal with this indifference? 
How is it okay to replace a relationship with another shinier, more interesting one? 
For so much mad scientific advancement and impressive technological innovation – the kind of people that we are becoming is degrading with as much gusto as polar icecaps. For the coming year, I’ve promised myself to be less foolish – to feel less – to be less involved and in turn be hurt less (hopefully). I’ll keep you posted on how it goes..
Meanwhile, if someone writes to/calls you today – maybe try not ignoring and replying instantly. It is the season of kindness, yes?

PS: Title inspired by the Black Eyed Peas hit which was very much in vogue, once upon a time – just to end on an upbeat note. 

Comments

0 thoughts on “Where is the love?

  1. That's because you call me on the shitty Hangouts app. Which does not notify me when a call comes in. Try Whatsapp calling next and see how prompt I am 😀

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