Family and friends are so important. Human beings are social animals and up until about 150 years ago we still lived in close knit villages. The village included immediate and extended family from sisters, brothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, godfathers and godmothers. Everyone looked after the young and the elderly.
In a very short time period we’ve moved from close knit community of multi generational family and friends to a diaspora. It’s not in our DNA to be unplugged and separated from the tribe.
Raising kids is a great example. Most young mothers give birth in the hospital and are shipped out and home the next day. There they sit with a new born child with zero support from immediate family who are probably living in another city or even another country. In response to this there’s a growing trend for young parents to employee a night nurse during the postpartum period. A night nurse or midwife “baby sits” during the night and helps guide the new mother through the first couple of weeks. It also allows the parents to get some sleep and be engaged when they are with the child. In the past there would be sisters, aunts, mothers, grandmothers and friends to teach and cover for the mother. If you think about it it’s actually not such a crazy luxury but a necessity and going back to our village roots. It’s sad that the majority of young mothers can’t afford this extra help and have to go it alone.
Skype and Facetime don’t bridge the gap. We need physical interaction and to be around people that know us. We are under the illusion that we are now more connected than we have ever been, while it’s actually quite the opposite.
Invest in your friendships and family bonds – build a village.