Do you remember what life was like before drive through restaurants? Believe it or not – there was a time when you were required to park your car, walk into a building and speak with a human being in order to expect food, a meal or a drink. Now, in addition to drive through, some restaurants have replaced cashiers with kiosks and after a few clicks your meal will appear – not a single conversation, eye contact or human interaction is required. Given the overwhelming use of technology, if we want our children and our families to have healthy human development, we will probably need to find or create intentional moments for human interactions.
On March 26th, Pope Francis spoke before a religious community and he urged them not to be afraid to look people in the eyes, especially when you are providing an act of charity. He said, quote:
“When you give alms, do you touch the hand of the person asking, do you look them in the eyes?” If you are able to touch, to look in the eyes, it is beautiful like that,” Francis explained, adding that it is important not to remain aloof and indifferent, but to approach people and care for them in their humanity.
As our culture accepts and even welcomes more virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and robotics – some believe our humanity will be harder and harder to recognize. If we make choices and develop habits that prioritize the simple touch and face-to-face interactions, with charity, with love, we restore and respect our dignity, the dignity of others and the dignity of Christ. May God bless each of us and our families!
-Teresa Peterson, Making Space for Grace