I'll go ahead and lead off this week's post with the obvious tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.
That is such a monstrosity. I can't even begin to fathom what the families of the victims are feeling. Teachers, students, and administrators going about their lives, on a regular Friday, eleven days before Christmas - and then for this to happen - it's devastating. A tragic occurrence like that makes all of the "problems" we spend our days battling seem so miniscule. Please: If you feel that you could hurt yourself or others, seek medical attention. And if you know someone who you feel is at risk of hurting themselves or others, help them as well.
As a person trained to be a scientist, I will show my naivete with social situations as I ask: Why?! What leads a person to such actions? Is there something about our society that is somehow provoking these school shootings every few years? In the aftermath, is there some sort of protocol we should adopt as a society? Can we learn to maximize not only our efforts to rebuild, but also to prevent future occurrences? I don't know the answers to any of these, but I wish these types of events would stop.
There is one potential lesson that eerily speaks to me now: At the California Women's Conference a few years ago, Maria Shriver mentioned her belief the overarching problem with society is we don't listen to each other. Mothers don't listen to their daughters. Bosses don't listen to their employees. Neighbors barely look at each other, much less talk. We have more people living alone than ever before, with each single inhabitant undoubtedly believing his or her thoughts, words, and actions are the "right" way. We don't want to give each other time or attention.
There is so much noise out there. Yet we value what is scarce. We have moved from an age where knowledge was valued to one where facts are not only abundant but free and near-instantaneous online. Instead, what we crave most now is attention. True, undivided attention from another human being - not one on his or her iPhone (yes, I am guilty of this), not one with us in body and not in thought, but real, undivided, face-to-face attention.
Dale Carnegie's popular sales systems are all based on one belief: People need to know they are important. People need to be seen, heard, touched. Perhaps if we would slow down and listen to others, we could identify when someone else is having problems - mentally, physically, emotionally. We could take the time to help, or find them the resources to help.
No man is an island. We aren't meant to live solitary lives. We are all in this together. And so long as we stop our desire to listen, we are disconnecting. Listen to someone else. And see if you can help.
What are your thoughts on this issue? I'd love to hear from you!
I feel almost silly doing a Follow Friday now, but we are a beauty company, after all. And I suppose you came here for skin care advice, not social commentary from a medical student (!). So, with that said:
All the best <3