Bringing Back the Us
I highly recommend you read this piece by Babs Ray. In it, she discusses how the world today is prioritizing "I" over "We" when we all have the freedom and power to choose private services over public ones time and again.
I fear that dismantling has been well underway for far too long. As the students in my friend’s class reveal, “public” is, in their minds, already “the other”—the “they” as Nietzsche put it. We have rushed headlong into a privatized, personally tailored world of a “we” and “they” — devoid of an “us.”
Devoid of an "us."
There's something important and intimate about "us." The combination of me and you, we and they, "us" is a grouping that I can only be a part of if I'm willing to contribute to the whole, to work on something that has the chance of being improved after I'm gone.
There was an us in high school, wherever you went. Us plays team sports and tries to win the big game. Us puts on a play, sings in a choir, builds a Habitat house, and cleans up a river. Us joins a fraternity, completes a science fair project, builds a homecoming float, and serves in Afghanistan. Us has a bake sale, throws a bachelorette party, carries a casket, and kisses at midnight on New Year's.
Take time for yourself, but make time for us.
When you're having a down week, us picks you up. Us helps you get away and lets you be yourself in a group. Us has no big demands, other than that you be a part, show up, accept, try, and celebrate.
Us is where you go when you have nowhere to go.
Embrace online tools, the power of free selection, and the chance to improve things. But don't go at life alone. Don't miss the beauty that is found in community - that messy, unplanned, accidental, mistake-heavy, spontaneous expression of humanity that happens when you stop looking at your phone and start looking at the world.