I was on my way to the hospital to visit a parishioner. Walking takes me about 15 minutes and most of the people I encounter are students coming or going from classes. On this particular afternoon I passed fifteen persons. I tried to make eye contact with each person – gently, so as not to freak them out. Of the fifteen, one person acknowledged me with a nod and a “Hi”. All the others were, or seemed to be oblivious to my presence. It is doubtful any of them heard me say “Hello” to them; they all had ear buds in their ears and were looking at their phone.
Fourteen out of fifteen! I have little doubt that all of them would have responded to me had I been manifesting some sign of distress; but in terms of simply saying “Hello” – not going to happen.
Seinfeld does a cute little spoof on the iconic newspaper at the table. “We don’t talk anymore” is not a new concern, and blaming the iPhone makes no more sense than blaming the Boston Globe or Washington Post. We do live, however, in this bizarre moment when the devices meant to enhance communication often have the opposite effect.
Jerry and Kramer tell it in a funny way. Charlie Puth and Selena Gomez remind us that love can be lost to us simply because “we don’t talk anymore“.
Step Five says: “Admitted to God, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.” “Recovery” requires that we talk to each other, or at least to one other human being.
Steps Eight and Nine speak first of the need to be willing and then to act on our willingness to “make amends” to those we have harmed.
After 9/11 we heard on the intercoms and saw it on signs in the airports – “If you see something, say something.” But … do we see each other? Do you see me? Please … Say something.