A perfect match? A loving family? Happy children? The pressures of today’s world create a grim reality where successful and lasting relationships are something of a fantasy. We cannot rely on the experience of elders since they lived in a very different world, so we have to find how to create meaningful and sustainable partnerships today. The key word in this search is connectedness, or rather, interconnectedness.
Because the world is changing at an accelerating pace, it is pointless to compare today’s relationships to those of our parents, or even to relationships of people a decade or two older than us. Each year, the world becomes increasingly connected, and a crisis in one place quickly spreads to the rest of the world.
On the personal level, too, things today are very different from what they were a decade ago. We have moved from fast food to fast relationships, and brief has become our permanent state of being.
To cope with the growing uncertainty and find direction in the emerging chaos, we need to understand where we are going. We are headed toward total connectedness and interdependence. It is an irreversible process. The more connected we become, the more dependent on each other we become, as well. Soon, we will realize that anything that hurts others hurts me, too, and there is nothing I can do to break my ties with the world.
In order to cope successfully with our interconnected future, we must change the nature of our ties from abusive and oppressive to supportive and embracing. Since we already broadcast our thoughts, words, and actions to the entire world, we might as well broadcast positive thoughts, words, and actions, and help improve the world for ourselves and others.
In a world that is connected positively, the family is the basic unit of connection. A reality where humanity is a mass of isolated individuals is unsustainable because there will be no connections between people and society will disintegrate just as any organism disintegrates into the smallest elements when it dies.
Therefore, the family will be the basic unit where people cultivate positive connections. Since people are becoming increasingly individualistic, the family will be the place where people learn to embrace diversity rather than fight against people who hold different views. People will learn that just as our body exists thanks to different cells and organs working together for the sake of the body, different people who work together for the sake of the family enable the success of the family.
From the family unit, people will take their lessons to the community, from the community to the city, from the city to the state, to the country, and finally to the entire world. The key, therefore, to successful relationships in tomorrow’s world, lies not only in connections, but in connections between different people for a common goal, where the differences between them ensure their success and make their mutual dependence imperative, and even welcome.