Getting Real and Keeping It Real
October 7, 2012
How are you? RUOK? I mean really, not the polite, surface response! Do you have people to talk to when life is a struggle? I hope so. We all need that. One recent survey said that 25% of Americans have no one that they feel close enough with to share a problem. That’s shocking to me! It’s shocking both because of the level of loneliness out there, but also because people who are disconnected are more vulnerable to physical and mental health issues.
What happened? How did we become so disconnected from each other?
When you travel or live in different cultures, you learn many different ways that people stay connected. I learnt many when I moved to New Zealand. I was due to meet a prominent Maori hip-hop dancer, who also happened to be gay. As a recent Australian arrival on Kiwi shores, I hadn’t yet learnt Maori greeting etiquette. I approached him with my hand outstretched, but soon realized that he was moving straight in past my hand. I prepared myself for a hug. That was okay, friendly for a first meeting but okay. So I raised my arms to hug him but quickly found that he was heading past my arms and straight towards my face. This surprised me, but I didn’t want to flinch. So I gathered myself, European style, for a kiss on the cheek. His face kept moving toward me. I realized that he was heading straight for my face. Determined not be the uptight honky Aussie, I braced myself, puckered up and smacked one right on his lips.share this