Custodio: The Human Factor

HAPPY Sunday Everyone!!!

I hope you have/had time to spend with your family today. I sincerely wish you made plans for some bonding time. It could be something grand like an all out fun-in-the-sun on the beach or a cool let-us-all-bundle-up outing in Buda or somewhere cold (like a mega air-conditioned room). As long as it is with family and you really spend time together, interacting and laughing together will be time well spent! (Being in one place but playing and doing stuff on your mobile phone and/or gadgets do not count!) Any activity with the family will do, even something simple like having breakfast together, as long as you actually talk to each other! Many times I am tempted to take pictures of families all crouched and typing away at their laptops, oblivious to their surroundings. Well yes, at least they're doing it as a family but then again, their time would be better spent if they actually interacted actually interacted with each other, right?

I am not saying that we as a family do not do it, we are guilty like every other family, but there should be time for doing everything. Back in the day, we actually had real conversations during meals, heck, back then eating together was a given! I remember actually calling my parents if I waa going to be late for supper! I would also often have by father or mom (or both) sitting across the table whenever I would come in late and ate alone! We would keep each other abreast with was happening in our lives and how our days went.

Nowadays, we would text each other, sometimes even when we were just in the next room! Yeah, all part and parcel of the perks of modern technology! I admit it does make keeping in touch convenient, but in a way, it alienates us from actual human communication which is really sad. It’s weird that although the avenues for communication are numerous and more globally available, there is that feeling of isolation that seems to be more palpable than ever!

We Filipinos have a strong sense of family. I take real comfort from the fact that we come from a bunch that really cares for not only our family but also our friends. The support system that we have is so strong that we never really had to suffer that feeling of being alone.

I hope that does not change. Seriously, I do. I hope we do not fall into that technology trap of being globally reachable but emotionally unavailable. Ugh. The thought just makes me shudder. I hope everyone still takes the time to talk and keep up with what's happening in the lives of their family and friends. Sure, memes, gifs and emojis ate cute but actual human touch and a soothing human voice trumps all of that, all the time. I hope that when we say “I’m only a text away,” does not literally mean that you can only talk through SMS because it matters to really have someone by your side, holding your hand or giving you a hug to let you know that everything will be okay and that you are not alone. These things are really, really important for our existence to bs truly meaningful and bearable when the times get tough. So be there for someone who may need you to be actually physically present.

It may take a little bit effort to drag yourself to a brother or sister’s room just to ‘pester’ him or her. They may appear unhappy about your invasion of your space but what if your presence was all they need to unload personal issues or inner turmoil? I am sure you to realize the importance of having someone vent out your anger, aches and pains too! We never really know, right?

So be there for family and friends. Really take the time to be with them. Spend quality time with them. Take that extra effort to sit and talk with them. Call them, not just text. Seeing a familiar face and hearing a familiar voice does wonders for those who may be feeling down and out.

Take time to find out how they are and make sure that they're okay because it counts. It means a lot. Sometimes much more than we actually realize. Be in touch in every possible way. Sometimes, putting away the gadgets for some real time with each other is all it takes to lift someone’s spirits up, so do it! Never forget the power of old school human communication: being all there. That’s what makes us human.

Have a great week ahead everyone! :)
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