When you wake up, the first thing that you do is look at your smartphone–it tells you time. And it tells you about today’s weather and temperature. It tells you about your appointments for the day. It notifies you of some pending e-mail messages. It brings you the news.
You have your breakfast — a bagel and some coffee or just the latter if you’re rushing out.
Today, I spent half the day staring at the screen–not that I wanted to. But I was enthralled by this film called “The Institute.”
I stumbled upon it on Netflix. I read the summary of this documentary. And I watched it. For more than an hour, I was taken for a ride back in time. The film told of a great social experiment done in two years. It involved people discovering a “secret” group, which took participants to a journey around San Francisco. It was a blast from the past, as science-fiction like clues led people from one place to another. In the process, they met strangers. They saw clues that pointed them to another one. For two years, people were led to a place, a story, a person called Eva. I don’t want to spoil it for you. You should see it. I felt the film also took the viewer (me) with them.
I consider this the most mind-blowing documentary that I’ve seen in a while. Nothing this elaborate, this creative can be just purely accident–or is it? Was spontaneity part of this story? Perhaps. Amid the cryptic messages spread throughout the film, one thing stood out: as humans, we’re not fond of isolation. Our existence, our lives must intersect with someone else. It is through this connection that we feel the purpose of our lives. We cannot be alone. But often times, we are. Some call it religion, some spirituality–the communal experience that we all take towards a certain path, purpose–will make sense when experienced together.
Technology has somehow exacerbated our lonesome existence. We rely a lot on ourselves to solve problems, to figure out success. The reality is–we cannot, and we are not alone. Human beings are meant to form communities. Accidental or not, these communities then create cities, nations, and continent of culture.
Our surrounding also gets forgotten when we’re too busy wondering about our next paycheck. We forget to “smell the flowers” when we’re chasing deadlines or e-mail. We missed out on the changing world when all we can see is the end of the road. It’s the journey, the adventure that makes our lives meaningful–and you must share that with someone to make sense.
Call me sentimental–but that’s probably how we cope with life these days. We want to go out and study nature. We just want to be out on a beach, staring at the waves and the blue ocean. It is sentimentality that drives us to climb mountains and explore countries that we only read in books.
Let’s take time to see our world–or we will miss history; we will never meet our Eva who has a story to tell.