About a month ago, my mom begged me to take her to see “Into the Wild,” for which I was willing to comply as I too wanted to see the movie. I left with one thought about the movie that seemed to really strike a chord. The quote was written by Christopher McCandless the young man whose life was the basis for the movie. He wrote in a book that, “Happiness is only real when shared.” I left with a multitude of thoughts based on this one sentence, but I only wish to discuss one of those thoughts.
One of the immediate thoughts that I had in meditating on Christopher’s quote was that we were designed to be with and around other people. There is no substitution that a computer or an online video game can bring to people who lack physical interaction with other peers. It’s what everyone around me calls community. Relationships with one another builds a community in which written and un-written rules are created. These rules are what govern us as a society. We all have to learn to share the ball and not hog it all to ourselves.
Even though I saw this about a month ago, in writing this blog today I could not turn away from the current circumstances at New Life Church. In reading some of the online posts by Matthew Murray, one of the things that stuck out to me was how lonely he was. Even to the point of trying to find what I define as “cold relationships” over the internet after failed attempts at “hot relationships.” By cold and hot, I am basically referring to the interaction and the number of senses used, a hot relationship would be time spent with physical people socially, while a cold relationship would be something where there is no physicality to the relationship. Matthew blamed his rearing for all of his problems, the homeschooling, the rejections from groups (including non-Christian), and the lack of any real relationship outside of his home.
I’ve seen some of the problems that Matthew talked about in reality from children whom have been homeschooled. In no way do I wish to discount homeschoolers or homeschoolees. However, Matthew’s claims against the homeschooling process seem to be the norm rather than the exception. Most children seem to come out of or are homeschooled because of an already existent social ineptness. With the best of intentions the homeschooling process seems to lack social interaction with other students...which is where the exceptions occur. Those students that have social interaction with peers are always the exception to the norm and their success is usually found within extra-curricular activities that other students participate in.
So you gotta have friends. We were meant to walk this Earth with others. Seclusion and division are the driving points for lawlessness. Thoughts and ideas start to creep into the minds of individuals. They no longer function or contribute to society, and continue to dive deeper into seclusion. What I realized from “Into the Wild” and the recent shooting at New Life is that people, no matter how hard they complain about being accepted need friends. I’ve realized how much I appreciate the people that I have close to me…people that I laugh with, cry with, do nothing with, and talk with. I’ve realized that happiness can’t be found in food, clothes, cars, status, or things, but that is only found, as Christopher said, when it’s shared.