There are days where it seems like the world is small. Yet, other days it seems so distant. It is easy to feel so solitary.
Sure, there are so many ways to prove our world is large. You can measure the circumference; you can look at a map and compare the continents; you can even compare the amazing number of different cultures and their religions and beliefs You can look to latitude and longitude and measure in degrees, or measure the ocean between us or the length of the road to get there.
The world still seems small these days. The Internet can often make it appear large, yet in this “the information age”- we are subjected to more information about people in the most far away places that “discovery” seems so much less adventurous these days. There are a number of TV channels that are dedicated 24 hours to showing you the most detailed things about the world around us, the people, the places, the animals and climates, the wonders of the deepest oceans or the farthest away galaxies. You would think that would make us all feel small by comparison, and you are probably right. We are living in the “world-wide” web we have built.
But the exposure to all of these things also bring us the chance to consider a point of view on things we never knew existed. Still, we isolate ourselves. We are allowed to ponder the life of a small girl in a country that has little in common with ours and make judgement on her actions ; we are able view real-time the Earth’s polar regions deteriorating at such a rapid pace w (and deny its impact in the same moment we watch).
So in this age of information and technology, we common folk have a dilemma. We can care about everything and then in fact not be able to consider anything precious. We can make light of the differences and criticize their existence as futile because it doesn’t fit our expectation of what the world should be.
We are subjected to so many choices here in the US, an “over abundance” of input. For some it tends to make life even more anxious. Just walking down the cereal aisle at the supermarket can be daunting. It can make you stop to ponder the size, shape, taste and sugar content of dozens of choices and experience the frustration of conflict. Will we pick the right one? the one that tastes best – or is most healthy? Or is the best value ? Just how are we spending our time and worry?
Now like the cereal aisle before us, we have nearly unlimited input via the Internet. We can hit the search button and make most anything appear. I keep imagining that if the “World of the Future” exhibit at the 1964 Worlds Fair had talked about the Internet, some people would have been more willing to accept flying cars rather than the idea of access to so much of the world.
So it may be wise to be sure, to consider the small world around us. Pay closer attention to the people, places and things that immediately surround us. Understand that there are certainly a lot of similarities for the human race all over the globe. Acceptance, the need for love, basic human understanding and the simple needs of food and shelter. Those and more are in demand in the human condition but it starts at home with our family, our children our relatives and friends. Go find the smaller world around you. Try it.