Chosen Isolation of Suburbia

in Art/Opinion by

My steady, monotonous thumping of ill lifted feet, scrape every third step over the concrete. I push on, alone on the path. There is nobody near me; the silence is deafening. Further on I trek, finally seeing another human, only to be met with an empty gaze and a glare of scorn. Welcome to suburbia, a land of isolation, of individualism.

In our whitewashed media memory of the 1950s, there once existed a community where all could congregate, despite personal differences. People sat in rocking chairs on front porches. Doors stood open. There once were families, living together, close in both ties and proximity, where at the worst of times, one television sat near which all could gather. Now, we all hide who we are and what we do in separate rooms. Where once stood homes, communities, now stand mere structures.

The isolation is crushing.

Outside our homes, competition over who has the best lawns dominates our social field of view. Inside our homes, we have reduced ourselves to living in caves, mere Neanderthals seeing the world as shadows on the walls in the form of flat screen televisions. We call this progress. Instead of spears, we now throw missiles. We build walls to protect our individuality, and in doing so, have stopped humanity. Instead of conversing, we text. We have technology to connect, yet we isolate ourselves. Our greed, our individualism, has goose stepped us into war, where we deserve peace. The machinery we have built, designed to bring us closer together has torn us apart, only making the death and destruction more rapid.

Though our knowledge and our limited view of the world makes us all the more cynical and closed minded, we humans still have potential. There is a way, there is a chance that finally we may see.

The internet brings us closer together, seeing what our friends, our loved ones see, allowing us to share in every moment. We must open our eyes, see the problems at hand, and utilize our technology to incite positive change. Some watch CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, trying to see the world, but they merely see through blinders of socially and politically manipulated norms.

Almost 1500 people died in global terror attacks in the first half of 2016, but as Americans, we only remember those who died in France. Nobody put the Syrian flag over their Facebook profile picture, though the Syrians are the ones that are being hurt the most.

No matter how much we hide in our perfect little houses, our problems don’t go away. No matter how much we hide behind our diplomats in the UN, we don’t have world peace. Whether we watch the news or not, there will be death and destruction. So we must throw open our doors, our windows, our files, our faith, and become what we are meant to be . . . together…where a new world may be built, where my friends in Istanbul don’t have to worry about terror attacks on their doorsteps, where we are allowed to see the world as it is, not as the media and our government portray it to be. We all deserve a world where we protect one another. I dream of a world where we shoot for the stars instead of at our neighbors.

So I will walk through my neighborhood as I must, but shall scream at the top of my lungs, if only to temporarily break the silence, in hopes that one day, we will unite. Someone will yell beside me, followed by a third, fourth, and fifth voice, until ultimately, all of humanity has joined in, woken from their apathy, until humanity is a chorus, a whole. Only when we stand upon our brothers’ and sisters’ shoulders will we see God from the top of our tower, achieve new goals, and experience the might of our new, singular civilization.

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