The search for meaning remains at the heart of the soul’s journey, and at the heart of meaning-making is relationship—with God, self, others, the world. But as new ways to connect proliferate—Google, Twitter, Facebook, Ning, Wikis, and more—we often worry about the loss of meaning. What happens to the soul’s journey when virtual and real relationships blend and morph? Will relationships become ever more shallow, fleeting, and narrowly focused—or renewed, strengthened, and expanded? Shall we lose the unparalleled intimacy of face-to-face dialogue—or will human understanding be expanded, enriched, and sustained in new ways?
As Episcopal schools, we have the opportunity to face these questions head on, not as either/or propositions but as complex realities worthy of thoughtful exploration. Our schools are places where relationships have always mattered, where children learn to see and know self and other and, in so doing, shape meaningful lives and a better world.
This link arrived in my mail box the modern way—in an e-mail from a friend. It is from an organization called Playing for Change, a group of musicians and film makers whose mission is to use music as a bridge to greater global peace and understanding. Ten years ago, their work would have been impossible. Today, it can be accessed instantaneously. The group’s video of the song “Stand by Me” embodies the many positive possibilities of our age and speaks to the very modern and yet very ancient tasks of human relationships and understanding.
I am sure you know of similar projects that use new media to connect, educate, or inspire. I would be interested to hear your thoughts.