We have lost something very important in our relationships: depth. So why is this happening? If I could sum it up, it would be a lack of nearness.
I guess I need to define that term a bit. By nearness I mean a physical and mindful and spiritual presence, a time spent together in person. I realize that the mention of a physical and mindful and spiritual presence seems redundant. I promise it is not. All three are necessary if we are to have true depth.
With the advent of technology, we are increasingly physically one place and mentally another. With one ear we “listen” to someone in person, with the other we “listen” to our phone. We are present only in a corporeal sense. This destroys the nearness of the moment. It destroys depth amongst friends for we are found to be “undeserving” of someone’s full attention, unworthy, unimportant.
On the other hand, a long distance relationship, while possible to sustain, suffers from a lack of physical nearness. Certainly, physical affection, even simply the idea of a physical closeness, is not as important to every person as it is to some of us. But being near someone physically at least acts as proof in part of willingness to give time to someone.
If I could advocate anything, it would be for people to stop using smart phones. We are more connected than ever. Too connected. So connected that we can’t keep up with everyone in our lives. So we throw a “hi” here and an email there. We give all our time away and for what? Salutations and valedictions. Depth will never be found therein, but rather in what happens in the middle ground between the two.
Depth is like mining. It takes time to get to the veins of minerals, precious gemstones; then, they must be brought out; then, the minerals must be processed, the gemstones polished; finally, they may be enjoyed. So too does it take time for a depth of friendship, love, any relationship to be carved out.