I recently traveled to a village in Nicaragua with loved ones. While walking around in the Village of Popoyo, I was surprised by my awareness of a natural sense of security. Upon reflection, this security was reinforced by the way strangers (both locals and travelers) would acknowledge your presence with eye contact and wave, despite having no compatible source of verbal communication, no known connective source other than the mere fact that we are both human. The security was furthered by the collective care of others including livestock: cats, dogs, cows, horses. Beach bonfires, restaurants and bars held a sense of tranquility when the animals that wandered in were treated like family and strangers were invited to join. Community is a strong sense of value that I fear has been lost in our misled journey to become the “most civilized”.
Perhaps we deceptively call ourselves more civilized as a self-sustaining defense mechanism to the truth: We are becoming more connected with technology and caring for hierarchically-created concepts of power, money and reputation than our own human species. This truth is in juxtaposition to our self-preserving claim of being “the most civilized”. I encourage us all to take a mental and physical step backward to self-reflect into what we find meaning in and how we provide purpose to our lives.
Food for Processing: Is our wealth-driven lifestyle creating disconnect between nature and our own intrinsic life, and if so, in what regards does this impact our own purpose and meaning in this very complex and confusing world?
" When we care for ourselves genuinely and fundamentally, we are better able to care for others. When we care for others, we can care for our systems. This innately makes us civilized. "
-Stephanie P. Bathurst
Stephanie P. Bathurst, MA, LCMFT
Marriage and Family Therapist