The holiday season is upon us- sights and smells abound. Houses and trees lit up for the Christmas holiday are seen in every neighborhood, and the smell of cookies, hot chocolate, and other goodies are permeating the air between my bed and the pavement where my morning workout awaits.
This is supposed to be a joyous season. A time where we draw close to those we love and create memories that will last a lifetime. Yet, everyone doesn’t welcome this time of year. For some, surviving this holiday season will take every ounce of “intestinal fortitude” (Army term meaning guts or internal strength) they can muster.
Some people struggle through the holidays- this may be the first holiday after losing a loved one; the first season without children at home for empty-nesters; the first following a divorce; and for some it’s another holiday where their loved one is far away honorably serving our country protecting our religious freedoms to observe such a season. For these individuals and families this season will be a test of what they are made of.
Others who struggle aren’t quite so obvious. In today’s world where everyone is abundantly “connected”- with Facebook friends, MySpace friends, recommendations on LinkedIn, and followers on Twitter, it’s amazing just how disconnected we really are from one another. The studies are showing that even individuals with thousands of social media contacts are suffering from depression due to a lack of social support. How many of your virtual “friends” have you met for coffee in the last five years? How many people do you send “Happy Birthday” wall posts to without ever calling or sending a handwritten note? How many of them could you call at 2 a.m. in an emergency to ask for help?
We are all guilty of assuming that social media will sustain meaningful relationships- but the facts are in- they just don’t cut it. People don’t grow and learn from behind a computer in the emotional sense. You can garner all of the intellectual data you need, but the ability to develop relationships (personal or business) with other living and breathing individuals doesn’t require a keyboard. It requires a handshake.
Monday Morning Perspective:
“Basic human contact – the meeting of eyes, the exchanging of words – is to the psyche what oxygen is to the brain. If you’re feeling abandoned by the world, interact with anyone you can.” -Martha Beck
This week I challenge you to step out from behind the computer and intentionally interact with people face to face. Take the time to send a real holiday card, make a “thinking of you” phone call, and embrace what this holiday season is really about- People and Relationships.
Have a wonderful week!
© Crystal Dyer 2010. All rights reserved.