Whilst driving through the outer suburbs of Melbourne the other day, I couldn’t shake this feeling of being disconnected with the world. This is an odd feeling for me as I’ve come from a place of feeling completely connected with all my surrounds, including the people, animals, plants.. But now there is a feeling as though I’m on a different planet to everyone else. Why is this? I say I noticed this feeling the other day but it’s something which has been popping up on and off since coming home. What is it about the western world which creates this sense of disconnectedness? A sense of being somewhat abandoned and left to your own devices. And why is this feeling not so present in places like India?
During that particular drive it occurred to me how westerners have completely segregated themselves from one another. We all have maximum security housing - there’s no getting in that building with ending up in a blue and white striped vehicle! We all drive around in our own little safety bubbles called cars - hidden away from the outside. God help us if we need to have the window down for a little while as the air con has stopped working!! With no sound evidence to back me up here (I’m aware), only pure observation, I feel these are contributing factors to why westerners are not only disconnected with the world, but also with themselves (not all of course).
In India - everything is vulnerable. People travel via scooter or rickshaws (mostly). At the stop lights people are practically rubbing shoulders with one another. Market stalls surround the streets and are bustling with people. People are constantly talking to other people. There is no deliberate attempts to shut out the world, to shut out the noise. Don’t get me wrong, I’m well aware of the class system in India, but talking from an outsiders perspective of how India appears to function compared with places like Australia or Europe - that exposure, the vulnerability of people, somehow leaves you with a feeling of connectedness - to self and to the world.
Here in Melbourne, I’m actively working to maintain that feeling. To be vulnerable with others and share a smile whenever I cross the path of another. This is how I can continue to feel somewhat connected here which I believe is so important for personal happiness and fulfillment in life. We are all part of something bigger, so let’s not forget that.