There used to be a time where we lived real communities. We knew our neighbors and their children, and they knew ours. Our children were required to respect them as authority figures, and in return we could count on them to BE authority figures, and the community watched for their own as if they WERE their own. We knew that if our kid was with Johnny that Johnny’s parents would watch over them and keep them in line.
That’s largely the stuff of myth and legend now. Many don’t even know their next door neighbor beyond a first name, if that. Even in our generation, we knew how it was for our parents and we could see it shrinking bit by bit in our own time. I was able to stay out until the street lights came on… but can we let our kids do that now?
The changes in technology and modern society now allow us to reach out to a complete stranger anywhere on the planet at a moments notice… and yet the more access we have to the world, the more we isolate ourselves from the people and things closest to us. We are dedicated to online communities and forums, but have little interest in who’s walking down our streets.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We can still reach across the world, and still take time to reach out to a neighbor and shake his/her hand. We can get online and donate money in an instant, but not neglect to feed someone in need right before our very eyes. We need more eye contact, handshakes, and REAL face time.
We can still reach far, without losing sight of what’s before us. Use that long arm to reach more, not over.