Normalizing Individualism and Isolation
I’ve been thinking a lot recently about the importance (i.e. necessity) of community to our formation and mission. I just finished up spending a week in Guatemala with Lemonade International. In the evenings we would naturally debrief all the things that happened that day and all the thoughts that were passing through our heads as we struggled with wrapping our minds around the poverty that we were experiencing.
At one point our conversation turned to our individualized, isolated society here in North America and how we struggle to really connect with people well. In the midst of this conversation, something interesting happened. Instead of talking about all that we had that the people in the ghetto didn’t, it was flipped. All the sudden we were talking about what they had that we didn’t.
Tita, the director of the project there in Guatemala, couldn’t comprehend our struggle. As we talked she seemed to have a deep sense of sorrow for us that we struggled with this. To her, community is absolutely vital and a natural part of her life as her culture is much more naturally communal. She couldn’t imagine why we would want to lead lives that were naturally disconnected and isolated.
It is amazing how easily we have normalized individualism and isolation isn’t it?
What ways are you seeking to “un-normalize” our culture’s natural isolatedness?