Step back

There are moments that should cause us to step back and look at our society. I found one such moment a moment ago. I just read a story about a company that offers “snuggle sessions”. The owner is quoted as saying, “It’s about making people feel worthy for who they are today. … I love knowing that people know that they are accepted, and they aren’t going to be alone anymore.” Can we consider this for a little while?

First, I think our society’s splintering is coming to the forefront at last. My first reaction wasn’t surprise. It was an inevitability. Loneliness is endemic to technologically advanced countries. More than ever, our lives consist of virtual families and kinship. When the time comes for us to look around for companionship, we find only a cold computer screen.

Second, the owner clearly sees a need and is offering a service to meet it. By manipulation. Lonely people crave being needed. And with a tagline like hers, can you blame the abandoned for falling prey to it? But then, she is seeing the need and meeting it. If these victims (because I refuse to call the exploited ‘customers’) had people who genuinely cared for them, this business would not exist. It is neither the first nor the last that will.

Really, is what she said true? Perhaps, the people are indeed accepted. But are they really not going to be lonely anymore? I imagine they wouldn’t give pro bono sessions to the homeless and poor. If their quarry were no longer able to afford their services, they sure as heck will be alone again. Intrinsically, the very fact that if they aren’t paying they aren’t being “loved” proves that they are not truly being loved. Love is given freely, expecting no compensation.

Step back and view the wreckage. Our world may be physically advancing but it is in actuality a dystopia; we hold a giant, gold-plated trophy hiding pure plutonium: it looks lovely but it poisons us as we lift it over our heads in triumph. Our bodies grow strong while our spirits are succumbing to the toxin. It is killing us; it is time dispose of this Pyrrhic prize.

We are the change. We are the prophets of a new world, a world of compassion and love. By God Almighty, we must be. The world can not continue in deference to the god of individuality and selfishness and greed. If we can love just one person each day… If we can just reach out to tell one person that this life is better for them having lived we can birth something beautiful and magical. We can take back our world. My God, we can take it back.

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