To continue our discussion about schools my daughter has now started at her new school and she has some complaints about it, and it doesn’t seem to be very forward thinking or creative, but what is really interesting is the things that she says are good. They are not about what they are taught in the class, how difficult it is or how interesting it is – they are about connection. If the Teacher connects with the students then it is a wonderful teacher even if she hates the subject, and she is really happy to be there anyway. If the teacher does not connect then no matter how much else might be good about the subject she hates it and wants nothing to do with that teacher. On some levels this is not surprising. Of course connection is the most important thing – it is always the most important thing. In all of life connection is the key, but somehow I was not expecting it – I was expecting that it was more important the actually content and teaching style, and not this outcome that the human connection between the humans can overpower all other issues.
But doesn’t this really make sense of our lives? We are not given a perfect wonderful peaceful existence, but we are always given the opportunity to connect, and that connection makes existence meaningful. I pity materialists and religious folk equally because each of them has trouble seeing what makes life truly meaningful and positive. If we are focused entirely on God we tend to lose track of the opportunities to connect in our daily lives, and create an existence that is somehow grey and dreary (but how can that be truly focused on God – God is Goodness and Love and Joy – God is connection). The materialists in denying the existence of energies and spirits and souls make it very difficult to understand and focus on connection. Of course this is not necessarily the case. It would be perfectly possible to create a materialistic explanation for the experience of connection – something to do with brain chemicals no doubt – and to encourage connection without necessarily believing in any higher powers. Some atheists seem to manage to do it. Terry Pratchett once impressed me with a talk about the mystery of street lights in which he seemed to demonstrate very deep connection.
But this is mostly beside the point. The point is connection – we need connection, we thrive on connection, and connection is powerful. It transforms ourselves, the people around us and the world. Connect up people – It’s good stuff.