More or Less!
When ‘others’ fill our empty spaces we prioritize ‘things’ less. Or, less is more when people populate our horizons. A life, a heart filled with people that matter (or should matter, even if at times they don’t command it) will be a life that has less voracious need for things to fill the ‘gaps.’ Less, but not no need – that is asking too much.
A life lived alone acquires a peculiar fussiness that has elevated surroundings, setting, and house to a place they are not suited to, nor made for, nor we for them. Things become their people, animals their family, a house their home. But things aren’t people, animals for all their crossbred charm aren’t family (at least and certainly not reproducible family), and a house isn’t a home. A home has a table, a fellowship, a dynamic only available with others in the mix, others we love, others who love us.
We have, sadly and inevitably, more single occupancy homes than ever before. Units, apartments, semi’s, condo’s, flats are filled with people on their own. Neighbors aren’t neighbors, occupants are unknown, surrounded but never more apart. That this isn’t easily ameliorated doesn’t make it any the less tragic.
Some form of community is the only and reasonable alternative to the elevation of a prickly self-orientation that begins in the apartment – things are in their place, nothing is moved, spilled on, or occupied. A welcome doesn’t feel like a welcome, a care must be taken, shoes removed and bodies gingerly eased on to lounges with an in-breathed anxiety.
To say to a person in these, all too common, circumstances that they love things more than people will be received very poorly, if at all. But if logic had her way no other conclusion seems possible. It is not an ‘either or love’ we are referring to, just a compounding tendency. Likewise you can’t say to people who are surrounded by others that they therefore love people to the exclusion of things. It is likely they don’t always, if ever.
But the trend stands. When we are responsible only for ourselves, even if only domestically, things will assume more importance to us because we are less distracted by ‘others.’ And when we are responsible for others it stands to reason that we will be less distracted about things.
People teach you the best things in life never were things, they were, they are, relationships, connection, community – people.
Alone you may have more but it is less. Together you may have less but it is more.
More or less!