today, something happened in my front yard…
something that doesn’t usually happen there. altho, it really should. happen…more often.
the fact that it doesn’t happen alot more frequently is, i believe, part of what might be wrong with the world we live in.
two of my neighbors and i had an actual conversation!
how it began, i’m still not quite sure. but as it progressed we talked to one another about real things. like discrimination that the woman who is a dwarf has no legal recourse against. about how my daughter, who is transgender is also not afforded protection everywhere under law. about how the neighbor who is an obese woman will be last chosen by an employer because of our looksist society. about how i would be hired before her even were i less qualified, simply because i’m slender.
we talked about the fact that our society throws things away. how that once upon a time a pair of shoes that had become thin of sole would be fixed by a cobbler. how there used to be shops to fix broken radios or toasters by tinkers who sat in shops with piles of peoples broken things to be repaired. and how this tendency of society to accept a ‘throw away’ culture has resulted in a tendency to extend this to people in our lives…don’t like a husband, wife or lover…get a new one.
we talked about how drugs are pushed at us from the time we are children. adhd meds…bi-polar, depression, anything that big pharma can profit from is pushed at us. all the while denying us the benefit of an herb like marijuana.
we talked about how it is mostly the poor and people of color who are offered the ‘opportunity’ of the military as an option to their reduced status in our society, to fight the wars from which the rich alone profit and in which the rich rarely are called upon to kill or die.
a brief, but enlightening front yard ‘connection’. neighbors, talking face to face with neighbors about things that really matter…about things that affect them, impact their lives….a real social networking exercise that required no internet connection, no at&t no facebook or twitter. just three women, in the front yard, talking.
i am a woman nearing 60, one of the other women is just entering her twenties and the other is just over 30. we are from different backgrounds and our lives only intersect on this street…this half a block long street. we see each other come and go, on a daily basis. we exchange good mornings and “hi” “how are you”s from time to time…but today. yes today…we had a real conversation.
twitter and facebook are called ‘social networking sites’. my mom and i, who speak every day, take issue with this label being afforded to these internet versions of connecting. i use these sites as a way of staying connected to the news of the world, a way to share poetry, photography…it is good! but it is NOT social! no…what happened today, on my front yard…and what may happen far more frequently from now on because of this connection…THAT is social behaviour!
i’m sure that many will take issue with this point of view. will argue that the internet social networking sites do the work of helping to ‘connecting’ people to people. and surely, it does. but what happened today, face to face…eye to eye…hearing what each other spoke…THAT, is social behaviour…and for my part, i intend to much more of it on my front yard, or elsewhere, from now on.