Partners, friends and humanity – End of the Day for May 15, 2014

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Alone time is thinking time and I have been doing a little thinking today. One thought that comes to mind is, even when I want to be alone, I am not very good at it. After 30+ years of being together with someone, you get very used to being able to turn around and make a comment, an observation , a thought and have someone there to listen. This is my biggest problem with being alone and I am sure that others can feel that way, too. Sure we can get on each other’s nerves from time to time, but after a few years your spouse becomes a part of you, a part of your world, inseparable from yourself for the most part. I think that is one big part of marriage — this act of partnering with someone to create a new, shared life that wouldn’t exist without either of its parts. Add a child to the mix and the collective experience grows and morphs into something even more different — a family. It often amazes me to think of the endless succession of happenstance that led us to the life we lead today. One missed connection. One alternative decision. 1o minutes in either direction would have resulted in entirely different lives for both of us. It truly boggles the mind to think of it.

Douglas and Rosanne together in London. Taken by Joseph

I think the fact that human beings continually seek to gather together into groups of varying sizes shows that this is part of our DNA or perhaps a small piece of that “lizard” brain that exists deep within our hopelessly complex and obscure minds. Gathering together fulfills so many different needs it only seems natural that it is so important to us. Sure, not everyone finds marriage a good model. I take no issue with that. Like my old argument on the fractious Mac vs. PC battle, marriage works for me, but may not for everyone. YMMV (Your Mileage May Vary) (LAUGH) There are many other ways of gathering together, though. Our best good often make pairs or triplets or “the gang”, that stay connected through high school, college and later life. We join communities like churches, clubs, or school groups to meet some need within ourselves to connect with others. Each of these group fulfills a different set of needs, but all have at their core human interaction.

Hermits are a tiny minority of the human for a reason. it takes some special calling — or some special fear — to forcefully remove yourself from society or even the smallest human interactions. I think that most people would be driven mad by extreme hermitage — of it wasn’t mental illness that drive them to become a hermit to begin with. Yes, there are days I talk, sometimes very forcefully, about finding a nice cave to escape from the worst parts of society, but in my heart I know it wouldn’t work. No matter how disappointed I might become with human society, I have deep emotional and even physical needs that con only be met there.

So, no matter what the fear or disappoint, it is always better to go out there among the wild human populace and engage with them — and they with you. You never know what — or who — you might accidentally meet and what strange eddies of possibilities you might stir up. Every life is made of these moments and each one crates its own unique universe within the world.

Previously on End of the Day:

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