By Maceo Keeling –
No, I am not referring to the United States, but “us” as people.
Today, we seem to be so preoccupied with too much of ourselves.
Remember when we had time to spend with the neighbors? We would gather on front porches for healthy verbal exchanges and dialogue. We would chat about everything, and sometimes about nothing in particular. People in the community knew all the neighbors and their families, and we were quick to greet each other with a smile and/or a warm, witty joke. We were quick to offer our help in times of need, and quick to forgive. We were a more loving people, and a more cohesive community.
Remember when we would call each other on the house phone, and plan multiple family get-togethers whenever there was a special neighborhood event? Children would gather at the neighbor’s house to look at TV shows like Sky King, The Little Rascals, Batman, The Ed Sullivan Show, American Bandstand, or Soul Train? Parents would also gather for sporting events to hear or watch great sports heroes like Muhammad Ali, George Foreman, Sugar Ray Robinson, Hank Aaron, and Willie Stargell? Some may even remember watching tennis great Althea Gibson, and more recently Venus and Serena Williams.
Remember when dressing up to take a family portrait was a big to-do and a way to include everyone? Today, we use cellphones to capture these moments by taking “selfies.” And, when we need help with our selfie, we’ll purchase a “selfie stick!”
Is the handwritten letter gone forever? Have we sacrificed a healthful, mind-stimulating exchange of words for sound-bites and virtual realities that leave us feeling empty and confused? When was that last time you received or wrote someone a handwritten letter? Have we traded our penned expressions for fragmented confusing text, tweets, or post? Why not sit down and pick up a pencil or pen and write that letter, or send a signed birthday card?
There are benefits to this new, evolving way to communicate, but it has come with a cost. Don’t post your sentiments online because I promise, if you can write and the person can read, you’ll both be thrilled with the outcome!
I want to thank my sister Karen Keeling for her healthy exchange of conversation. I have included many of her insightful thoughts in this article as we talked about the need for healthy communications.
“You don’t have to be great to get started, but you do have to get started to become great!”
Dr. King had a dream, now we must have vision. The Conscious Call radio program airs every Monday at 11:30 a.m. on WRES-FM 100.7. In a collaboration with the radio program, the Urban News will help keep readers informed about events, programs, news, and the progress of The Conscious Call. For more information, contact the Conscious Call at (828) 989-6999 and visit www.theconsciouscall.com.
The opinions and statements made in this column are solely the opinions of the author and not necessarily those of The Urban News.