Last week I went to my neighborhood Apple store for my second lesson on “How to teach a woman twice your age how to use her new laptop, and you’d better be respectful about it or I’ll tell your mother.” I didn’t quite expect the sight at the front door. A shrine. Candles, flowers, and lots of . . . apples. Haven’t seen that kind of mash up since the Buddhist shrine at the place I got my nails done that had an Egg McMuffin as its offering.
A shrine to Steve Jobs. Who deserves it, I suppose. But it did make me think how ironic it was. Not at all to downplay his amazing genius or contributions to our current age—I am, after all, typing this on said new Macbook laptop—we have to admit that he’s had some role to play in the American lifestyle of disconnectedness. The plug in and drop out phenomena. Not a causal/personally responsible role, but a player in the action. And now, that generation that doesn’t talk to people face to face anymore feels so connected to a perfect stranger that they leave him flowers and apples. Just a little . . . odd.
So my question for today is, to whom are we connecting? To our sons, daughters, spouses, neighbors, parents? Or to strangers who entertain us, inform us, or enrich our technological lives? Who receives our devotion and interest? And, to whose lives are we contributing on a personal level so that they feel truly connected to us?
Maybe they won’t leave you a shrine. I’m kind of hoping no one ever leaves me one. It’s a little creepy. My kids will probably keep my picture on the fridge for a couple weeks, at least, when I’m gone, but I don’t think they’re the shrine type. Besides, what might they leave??
Where are your connections?