So, I promise not to talk about rugby again tonight… In fact I would like to talk about nobody
I warn you in advance – you might want to get a cup of coffee first … this may take a while, but I REALLY hope you will bear with me, because this story might involve YOU.
As I contemplated all that I shared last night during my blissful hours in Kruger Park today, I realised that my delight at being off the grid between camps, is part and parcel of my desire to sometimes be invisible. I need peace and quiet like most people need wi-fi and coffee – it is critical to my survival. I suspect that there may be people reading this that can identify – although chances are, we are in the vast minority!-) Peter spent many of the early YEARS of our marriage trying to (respectfully and carefully) explain to me that I was different to everyone else and that people didn’t understand me because they didn’t think like me! I thought he was unkind for saying so – until I took the Myers Briggs Personality Assessment (you can also do it for free HERE) a few years ago, and discovered that Peter was right all along! My personality type is known as INFJ and we make up about 1% of the world’s personality! Very few people understood me and it was perfectly okay – because I am “weird!” So if you fall into the category of people who have thought “WHAT???” in your friendship with me – it’s cool – you’re cool. For those of you who still love me anyway – you just plain ROCK!
The point I am trying to make is this – the vast majority of the human population is wired to connect and communicate with others. Very few of us can be alone for extended periods of time and be happy with that (and even thrive in that environment). Even people like me, need to connect and communicate at times – fundamentally humans need other humans. Enter social media. Suddenly humans can connect like never before. We can share, we can lol, we can fight and we can encourage others – all without any physical human contact – wonderful isn’t it? I don’t think so. You see, social media and technology have messed up our ability to REALLY connect in the way we NEED to. We need affection – hard to do over a device. We rely heavily on real-time visual, audio and sensory feed to interpret motives, mood and meaning in what others are conveying – these critical aspects of communication are very often missing in social media/ electronic communication. (Interesting side note:- In my work with young people, I was shocked to discover that they lacked social filters, because they did not have the advantage of seeing how others responded to what they said first hand, and ended up thinking they could say anything – so social media decreases (or simply postpones) black eyes, but that’s about the only advantage!). In my (minority) opinion social media and technology have crippled our communication skills and served only to isolate human beings behind false facades of LOL. It’s had to hide your pain at someone’s words face to face, but it is very easy to pretend it didn’t hurt with an emoticon or two.
There are many lonely people in the world today – perhaps far more than before the world became a small global village. There is a vast difference between being alone sometimes because you need/ like it, and being lonely because you lack human contact/ communication.
Social media reveres cool people who have the most followers and the best selfies, and scorns and mocks people who share their true thoughts, feelings and real physical images. These people become nobody…
The dictionary defines “Nobody” as follows:- no person – no one; a person of no importance or authority”.
On my Kruger Days, when it is just me, my Creator and the open bush, I delight in the sounds of the veld. I especially love the chattering of the little birds… I am impressed that ‘everybirdy’ gets a chance to have their song heard and as far as I know no one crits or silences them. If you have a voice and a heartbeat – you are legit – you can ring your tune out over the bush to your heart’s content and no one will raise so much as a feather about it – in fact sometimes they even join in! To the world, nondescript little birds are just nobodies – in the animal kingdom they have a voice and a right to be heard.
Tonight my heart is heavy as I think of everyone who is alone. Sometimes the most alone you can be is when you are surrounded by people who don’t hear you – who don’t understand you and who sometimes criticise your song because you are just too different – so eventually you just stop singing your own song. Sometimes you just stop singing altogether and you hide inside yourself, in a shell that is aesthetically acceptable to the world – a shell that only fits because you break vital pieces of yourself off to fit into a shape that never was (and never will be) yours – so that you will never again run the risk of being labelled a “nobody.”
Tonight I want to tell you that the dictionary is wrong! It is wrong because every nobody is, by the dictionary’s own definition, SOMEBODY!
Go back to the definition of nobody… see it? A contradiction in terms! It says:” A PERSON…”
I rest my case. Besides, my Creator – your Creator – endorsed YOU before you were even born, with the seal of His only son’s blood. Irrespective of your religious beliefs, that is good enough for me! Sawubona – I SEE you, and it is impossible to see nobody (definition: no person; no one). The thing is – I can’t see you, if you don’t have the courage to rise up and BE YOU – the courage to sing your song and shine. So I’m thinking it might be time to quit lolling about (in the original sense of the word) in a shape that the world prefers, turn off the wi-fi and sing YOUR song! Call me crazy (you won’t be the first, and likely not the last!-), but I think others will like it as much as I do – because NOBODY can sing it like YOU!