Connection

‘Connection’ by Terri Pouliot

“Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.” 
― Mitch Albom, Tuesdays with Morrie

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately…

Our culture is spiraling out of control. I feel it, sense it, and am witness to it almost daily. Humans are becoming more agitated, stressed, rude, hostile and, here’s the worst one; disconnected.

Social media is a big part of the blame. Electronics are another. We are constantly ‘plugged’ in and not ‘tuned’ in.

We live our lives in comparison mode. We don’t feel good about ‘ourselves’ because everyone else’s lives look so much healthier, happier, more fun, ______ Fill in the blank with your own comparative adjective.

We are chasing the ‘wrong’ things in life. And missing the most important lessons of all.

The ‘health and wellness’ industry is amassing billions of our hard earned dollars by selling us ‘quick fixes’ to ‘feel’ better about ourselves.

The ‘self-help’ industry is getting wealthy by our lack of ‘feeling good’ in our own skin.

But here’s the thing.

NONE OF THIS IS WORKING.

We are missing the key element.

Human Connection.

We are starved for it. In fact, I believe our lack of human connection (love) is one of the main reasons for our addiction to social media and our electronics.

We believe we are connecting…but we aren’t. We follow celebrities, athletes, instagram stars and are addicted to following these people like they are family. They aren’t even real! These larger than life people have created an image. And we fall for the distraction.

And yet, we aren’t connecting to the people around us. You know, the very people who were put in our path. We are lacking the basic intimacy with other humans that we desperately crave.

We have forgotten how to communicate. Converse with one another.

We must learn how to reconnect. We have to return to love.
It’s a basic human need. Or we are missing the whole point of life.

Malleable

Photography by Terri Pouliot

Malleable.

According to Merriam Webster, the definition of malleable is the following:

1 : capable of being extended or shaped by beating with a hammer or by the pressure of rollers
2 a : capable of being altered or controlled by outside forces or influences
b : having a capacity for adaptive change

I have worn many ‘hats’ in my lifetime and one of those ‘hats’ was as a Certified Diamontologist and Certified Gemologist when I  enjoyed a career in Jewelry Sales (a career that was a result of following my curiosity and passion).

One precious metal that I have always found fascinating is platinum, due to its strength and malleability. While it may not be the strongest metal known to mankind, make no mistake about its strength! It is not only strong; but durable and pure, To be considered platinum, a piece must contain 95% or more of the metal, making it one of the purest precious metals you can buy.

When platinum is scratched, the platinum gets moved from one place on the piece of jewelry to another, and it develops something called a patina finish. This type of finish will make your jewelry look like an antique. Platinum’s metal can be moved back in place with polishing because it is not actually losing metal like white gold.

How cool is this!

Physically, platinum is heavy, soft, malleable (easy to work—only silver and gold are easier to shape), and ductile (easy to draw into wires) and has a fairly high melting point (~1770°C or 3220°F). Chemically, it’s often described as a noble metal because it is so unreactive. It doesn’t even react with oxygen in air so it doesn’t rust or tarnish. It’s also reasonably resistant to attack from acids.  Unreactive!  Now, this is  awesome!

….Now, I’ve said all this to create one thought for the day.

The ability to be strong, while at the same time, becoming malleable, may sound contradictory, but that’s exactly what Platinum does.

Just think how remarkable this is!

Strong, yet movable!

Like a mighty Oak tree who gets toppled due to its inability to sway with the wind, we, too, should strive to be strong, durable and yet movable.   A Willow tree adapts by moving with the wind rather than resisting!

When we are ‘scratched’ and marred due to outside forces; we must learn to have the rare ability to ‘move’ from one place to another with grace, ease and willingness.

Strength is cool. But when we add the ability to be ‘moved back’ into place with a just bit of ‘polishing’ without losing our ‘metal’ (spirit) is beyond amazing. I like to think of ‘Self-Care’ as polishing.

There will always be outside forces that erode, scratch, and put pressure on us. Learning to ‘go with the flow’ and having the capacity for adaptive change is a survival skill.

Getting strong is admirable. Maintaining strength takes work. Learning to become malleable in the process is practically a super power

Something to think about!