The Paraclete

When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. ~ Acts 2:6

We celebrated Pentecost Sunday this weekend. The priest had a different perspective in describing what happened when the Holy Spirit descended unto the disciples. Instead of focusing on them receiving the gifts (of speaking in tongues), he drew our attention to the listeners instead. Are we able to hear, listen, understand, and relate to one another?

He ended his sermon urging us not to talk too much but pay more attention to listening to one another.

Like always, I thought it was rather ingenious of him to look at the readings in such a perspective. We have indeed lost touch with each other because most of the time it is all about the “me, myself, & I”. Whether we like it or otherwise, social networking promotes just that – self glorification. We seek the attention of our vast “social network” followers and try to outdo each other in living our lives.

More often than not, we craft a fake identity just so that we do not feel inferior for not attaining the same success of others. Unbeknownst to us, what we observe about our friends through social networks can be further from the truth and since everyone suffers in silence most of the time, we will almost never see someone promoting the difficulties he or she is going through on their social network account.

This weekend, I went through what some are calling “digital de-cluttering”. I spent some time installing a “timeline cleaner”. I left the script to run overnight, and it cleaned up my entire social networking account all the way to the last post I added the day my “virtual” life first begun.

In the long process, I came to realize that vast amount of storage I was taking up somewhere in silicon valley has almost no value – the endless ramblings, likes, dislikes, and everything in between. I wondered why the social networking companies are so proud to share how storage devices are added on a daily basis to store the world’s nonsense.

As I shared what I was doing with a friend, he was puzzled and pointed out to me that he likes looking back to significant events in his life on his social networking account. I guess I ought to feel that I have just buried my past since my social networking account defines me as a human.

But no, I feel totally liberated and light knowing that I have a squeaky clean timeline. I can start my “virtual life” all over again. I felt empowered because I have the power to reclaim my real life without placing my entire life in a storage in an unknown location under the anonymity called “the cloud”. In other words, I have decided not to give my life away to social networking.

It is time we engage in real conversations – face to face. We need to look into the eyes of the other person and have that conversation. As much as we want to speak and share the truth, we must also listen. When we post that new status, it is often one-way and it may not be the same “lingo” we all understand.

If we can hold a proper two-way conversations, why place a mobile device in between our conversations, then?

We see and hear only what we want. It is only when we truly listen and observe, we are shown the beauty in everything.
We see and hear only what we want. It is only when we truly listen and observe, we are shown the beauty in everything.
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