As news of Mr. Lux’s passing travelled through the air waves, I began to reflect further on what I tentatively touched on in my post yesterday. (By the way, through most of this post, I refer to E.J. as Mr. Lux because this is more about him as a teacher to my daughter and her friends than it is about E.J. as a colleague.)
What struck me about the messages of condolence was that many of these were from former students who alluded to Mr. Lux as a special teacher whom they will always remember.
These messages were posted on FB, which made me reflect on FB – the good, the bad, and the ugly. So much is exposed on FB and so much more remains hidden. We get snippets of people’s lives and we allow ourselves to be lulled by these casual glimpses of big and small events. Not that FB hasn’t been good to me – I’ve connected with many friends and family members over the years; I love being privy to the snippets. Yet, every once in a while something happens; I’m reminded how fragile life is, how important those connections are, and how critical it is to nurture them.
Other than an occasional “like”, I never really reached out to E.J. through a comment or a question. FB allows for those connections to happen yet we flippently focus on the number of “friends” we have or how many followers we have on Twitter. (I just did this at breakfast this morning.) And while an ever widening circle of connections potentially enriches us, it also has the potential to impoverish our ties to each other unless we’re careful.
So, what’s my point? I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s important to nourish our friendships and to invest a few extra minutes every day to say, “You matter. I care. Whatsapp?”
Social media makes this easy to do; let’s take advantage of the possibilities.