© 2006 kelly angard
I saw the movie “Babel” yesterday…
This amazingly poignant and striking piece of work speaks of so much more than the invisible boundaries of communication both inside and across ethnic and cultural lines…I believe it speaks of something which lies much deeper, something which has motivated man to communicate since the beginning of time: the intrinsic desire to connect with others and be understood.
I left the movie asking so many questions.
The one which loomed largest, however, was this:
how far does one feel they have to go in order to be heard when they believe that no one is listening?
Do we first try to speak louder or attempt to speak to other people, hoping that someone will “hear” us?
How long can the human psyche stay intact while feeling ignored and invisible?
At what point is it that one chooses extreme actions to make their statements and be heard?
How long does it take before the soul roars up in anger and lashes out in whatever way it feels will garner the most attention…and make the loudest statement?
When we feel we have had enough of feeling isolated and invisible, what do we do?
Do we choose to lash out at others…innocent bystanders who have simply been at the wrong place or the wrong time? Or do we turn our anger inward, onto ourselves, choosing self-destructive behaviors which will reinforce how we really feel about ourselves and prevent us from getting what it is we so desperately want and need…to feel connected and understood?
I wondered if the irony of our wonderfully modern and technology-driven world of global communication is that behind the myriad of electronic ways for us to “communicate” and “connect”, we are feeling more isolated and alone than ever…misunderstood and invisible.
This may be but a small clue as to the ever-surging popularity of reality-based television shows in which there seems to be no limit to the number of people who will volunteer for their “fifteen minutes of fame”…even if that means their fifteen minutes is laced with a heavy helping of humiliation and shame. Maybe at least they feel they are a some-body and no longer invisible. Maybe they believe that fifteen minutes is better than none.
But is this the way out of our existential loneliness?
Why haven’t we realized that there is a universal language?
One which crosses all continents as well as ethnic and cultural lines…
One which really needs no words to be effectively communicated…
One which shows us that we are all more alike than we are different…
That language is LOVE.