Why couldn’t I have known you now when I am an inquisitive adult? There are so many questions I now would like to ask you all: mother, father, uncles, aunts, grandmothers, grandfathers, etc. Our family history with your own parents, relatives and friends. What discussions we could have. What insights as to why I am as I am. Why the peculiar beliefs, superstitions and odd behaviors.
Our lifetimes seem so brief. Neither my childhood nor my adulthood coincide with your own adulthood, and old age erases any possibility of relating as adults. By the time the idea of relating becomes desirable, you are all gone in one way or another. And I never got the chance to ask “What were you thinking when…………” We fail physically and also mentally and we also disappear into our own problems. We disconnect and pull away or just think that the past is not important anymore…. just because it is fading, irrelevant or painful or embarrassing or too loaded with secrets that took so long to bury deeply that it will take too much effort to retrieve them. And furthermore, who would possibly care anymore? Is it history when you have actually lived through it?
So much is lost by not communicating with each other: continuity of the family timeline, familiarity of the family itself beyond just our grandparents, and rarely, our great grandparents. Even though we are in touch with a great part of the world, we seem to have lost touch with our own personal roots, our relations and our relationships. Family reunions were once possible and even desirable in the not-so-distant past when families were closer both physically and geographically. Conversations and games and meals and memories all brought us together. Meeting for the first time the new members of the extended family by births or marriages wove a tapestry of the common bloodline, expanded by actually seeing and talking to cousins and aunts and uncles that were fading through a lack of familiarity.
All of this seems like a fictional account of a fictional world. Something we occasionally experience in a book or a movie. The close-knit family gave us continuity and security, meaning, and a reason for being, through exchange of ideas, the inevitable controversy, and a way to resolve conflicts in a controlled environment. As desirable as this may seem, it was not perfect. Nothing in this world seems to be perfect. But when we isolate ourselves from our family unity for an electronic network exclusively, we essentially become self-sufficient little islands, atolls in a sea of humanity drifting close by others, but rarely touching. And we appear to be drifting farther and farther apart with no reason to unify. With no evident solution.
Could music fix this? I don’t think so. Music is only a symptom of the problem. Music is drifting apart in the same way. Everyone is doing their own version of what music “is” and in infinite variation. The only continuity seems to be the addition of video and a story to the music itself. This provides us with a temporary and illusive sense of “belonging ” in the virtual reality world. The music and video control our emotions, our intellect, and even the direction of our thoughts. This becomes a release from the reality of our lives, and then the security of observing brings us into a new family, a virtual family, and it, like a new drug, can become addictive. Our beliefs are suspended, we are almost totally vulnerable and ready to accept almost anything.
This concept when it is isolated should be frightening! Combine this with drugs that already relate readily to certain kinds of music, and then extrapolate and carry this concept to its extreme in our own future, and realize that this situation can become a vastly debilitating cocktail in the near future in our society and culture. We do not have to think too deeply to envision the very questionable possibilities which present themselves. A very dangerous situation for our society and our culture.
So, if we are to retain any semblance of our humanity, we need to watch carefully what we view, and listen carefully to what we hear. The future our own families and the families of our friends may fade, falter, and even founder in the footsteps of our forebears. So, remember: Forewarned is forearmed…!