T. R. Williams

An impersonal world

By T.R. Williams

Midst my daily jaunt through the mystical land of Facebook, I ventured across a catchy titled video. I assumed for certain The Invisible Woman would simply be a tongue in cheek blurb that would brighten my day. I was sorely mistaken.

The narrator expressed concern for a pattern she stumbled upon of late in which those in her life had begun to treat her as if she was ‘invisible.’ Yes ... invisible.

Her words struck a chord I hadn’t expected. Before long my eyes stung with tears of recognition for this disheartening truth. I myself had previously noted feeling ever more obsolete to those whom I extended myself to as well, regardless of enthusiasm.

Though I’d been the one pressing damp cloths to fevered foreheads, scouring remnants of violent viruses, running hot baths, and changing soiled bedding when even I myself could barely stand, still it seemed I was merely an unacknowledged caretaker.

Thoughts flashed of social gatherings attended, when a turnabout the room greeting familiar faces presented little beyond pressure to join the over consumption of adult beverages, sharing of shallow exchanges, and partaking of loathsome gossip.

How does one become so transparent, one’s efforts so irrelevant? Why do we humans seem to cease appreciating others? How is it that the worth of communion is seemingly ever depreciating?

The dissertation proved positive that I myself am not unaccompanied in the questioning of this predicament. Honestly, how many of you have risen with the sun to pack sack lunches, relinquished sleep to school projects, rushed home after a long day only to further labor over a hot stove to satiate growling bellies?

Who hasn’t surrendered time with friends to bake for fundraisers, or for their spouse’s beloved buddy’s game night? How many coveted Saturdays, better lazily languished in bed or before the big screen, were rather forfeited for teeth chattering sunrise field-side soccer games, oil changes, or undesirable shopping trips, yet these sacrifices still went unappreciated?

Admit it, be it brilliantly administered birthday bashes, extraordinary gifts, insanity ruled Chuck E. Cheese outings, or epically executed sleepovers, most, if not all, have inexplicably gone undervalued.

Skillfully honed meals, Martha Stewart worthy delights, crisp white jerseys hung bedside game day regardless of the prior week’s ground in emerald stains, and eons of irreplaceable intervals misplaced midst the time warped vortex of dance and karate classes all seem mere duties now.

As individual appreciation dissipates isn’t regard for all humankind endangered as well? Isn’t it possible that society might soon fall prey to unsympathetic greed? Before long will we find that all good deeds and do-gooders simply go undetected?

When last did you witness a gentleman opening a car door, washing an automobile that wasn’t his own, or fetch flowers for no particular reason? Might it be that depreciation of appreciation has squelched such desires?

We’ve all but lost the wonder of personal exchanges midst a world inundated with Snapchat, Twitter, and Instagram. The honest worth of regaling the details of our existence has sadly been substituted by impersonal ‘Likes’ and passing comments tossed out on social networking.

I long miss the days when inquiring of one’s family was met with a foot long run of wallet shots and genuine jovial exchanges, not the half-hearted toe tapping of preoccupied iPhone gazers we’ve become.

What a difference the future might be if we only ceased this destructive pattern and began reinstalling the traits of appreciation. Good deeds have always been said to bring further good, as the trickling down of kindness and gratitude breed more of the same. It’s in our power to alter the future.