Connectivity

 

 

My friend Carol and I got together recently for a joyous reunion, joyous because we have known one another since the first grade in our rural Northeastern Oregon town and when old friends reunite it feels good. While we were together, another friend of Carol’s joined us, and as the stories began to flow, she shared her experience of reuniting with the classmates of her youth. Musing aloud, we wondered at the phenomenon of getting back together with our former classmates.

 

As a former teacher, I am enjoying the same connection phenomenon as with my classmates. It’s a though students and teacher have become the same age and revel in reconnecting just as much as former classmates.

 

Why is it that we so enjoy seeing each other once again and it feels like we never were apart, even though we might not have connected over the span of 30, 40, or 50 years? Carol, her friend, and I speculated but never really came to a definitive answer. We just knew that this reunification happens, and in most cases, it’s lovely. Another one of those mysteries that we enjoy despite knowing why.

 

Then today I was reading No Ordinary Time by Jan Phillips and came across this:

 

“Quantum nonlocality teaches us that particles that were once together in an interaction continue to respond to each other no matter how many miles apart, and at a rate faster than the speed of light.”

 

(This also explains why I can sometimes know a person is going to call, write, or somehow get in touch with me.)

 

She continues: “Physicist Menas Kafatos writes: ‘Nature has shown us that our concept of reality, consisting of units that can be considered as separate from each other, is fundamentally wrong.’ Since we are composed of cells, molecules, atoms and sub-atomic particles, this makes each of us part of one indivisible whole, interconnected and interdependent.”

 

So now we have an answer, both metaphysical and scientific–which I believe more and more are one and the same. We come together because once we meet, we are a part of the other, and the other, us. It feels good when our molecules come home to roost.

THE LITTLE THINGS

Today I was telling my water aerobics friend about another of my students who had just sold the movie option rights to her book.  My friend said, “You must be very proud of her.”
I said, “I am.  I’m proud of so many of my students, the choices they’ve made and the lives they lead.”  I feel like a big sister, a good friend, an auntie, a mother or a grandmother to so many of them.  If you teach, you can’t help loving.
My friend sighed, and said, “You did BIG things with your life.  All I did was little things.”
I’d never looked at it that way because I’d always thought I’d done little things, gauged by the BIG things other people had accomplished.
Then I thought back to when I had to turn my gut feeling and an ugly truth into action.  That is the most difficult thing for me to do in my life because I want my actions to be the right thing to do according to the situation. It’s always been hard for me to make a decision and act on it. To act, you have to believe in yourself. You can talk to friends until they are sick of seeing you coming, but nothing changes unless you take the action. 
I needed to divorce my husband and I needed custody of my son because too much damage had been done already.
My father-in-law’s attorney, the only one I knew, said he couldn’t help me but he knew an attorney who could, and he took me to the other’s office.  The attorney listened to my story, so difficult for me to tell, and he believed me.  What’s more, he believed IN me.  That “little” thing was the one thing I needed.
As life unfolded before I left that town, friends and other professionals came to me and told me how glad they were I had taken the action I had.  My friends said they hadn’t felt they could say what they knew because what I did had to be my choice, although one of my friends did spur an investigation I learned later.  The professionals kept quiet because my father-in-law was an important, powerful man in that little town, but they all knew of the depravity in which my step-children, child, and I lived.  Once I acted, these townspeople felt free then to comment how glad they were I had escaped.  I felt free and my son and I fled to another life.
When we are in a world of hurt, sometimes all we need is one “little” thing to escape, just one person to affirm and validate us.  I tried to be that person for my students.  I try to be that person for the people in my life today. 
I told my friend that she may see the things she does as little things, like daily checking on a 90-year old neighbor, or taking care of a friend’s dog, or mediating in a dispute.  But to the people she helps, that little action is a BIG thing.
Little things add up to something huge. Usually they cost nothing but time and love.  They cause a tide of goodness and kindness. It’s the little things that facilitate the big things. If you do the little things right, you change the world into a better place to be.