This week I earned my first dollar from hula hooping. I wasn’t even trying. George and I were walking home together carrying our big striped hoops after the Wednesday evening concert at the beach. We passed two white-haired couples out for their evening walk together. One man asked if we’d been part of the entertainment.
“Oh no,” I said. “We hoop for fun.”
“Let’s see what you can do,” he joked.
So George and I popped on our hoops and flipped through a few basic tricks.
They clapped and laughed.
“Look,” the man said. “There’s more.”
He pointed below us on the street.
“That’s the rest of my family,” I said. “The family that hoops together stays together.”
The group of evening walkers was a block away before I saw the two dollars in George’s hand.
“He told me that one dollar was for each of us.”
“Family hula-hoop busking,” I said.
George and I laughed. He gave me my dollar.
We’re always brain-storming ideas for fun family businesses that we can do together. It would be nice to have more money coming in.
George has been walking a neighbor’s dog. I’ve sold a few of my books. We get rent from our old house. Robert has a enough pension to pay for health insurance. I cook beans and rice and soup at home to keep the food overhead down. We skip television. This saves us a bundle.
So long as we stick together, things work out.
Strong long-lasting relationships are one of the most important things for human health and happiness. I’ve often wondered how this came to be. I’ve also puzzled about how family and community relationships have come to be broken and inadequate. I’ve also wondered what could be done.
Sometimes when I want to understand people better, I imagine myself back in time and speculate about the world of human pre-history.
Before fire or weapons, human relationships were relied upon as the primary tools for survival. People banded together for safety. Tight interpersonal bonds inside long-term groups were a requirement for survival and successful reproduction. Families lived together.
Ordinary folks could only travel as far as they could walk in a day. When people migrated, they migrated in groups. Communities were stable.
Back then, being cast out was a death sentence. While it’s natural to enjoy some time alone, a completely isolated individual is not a sturdy survival unit. Loners, outsiders and individualists were not thought of as cool or sexy. They were dead. People who needed people and were good at satisfying these relationship needs survived to reproduce.
We are their children.
Our modern industrialized society occupies only a tiny speck in the long history of people. Although industrialization has allowed us to change our environment rapidly and dramatically, industrialization hasn’t been around long enough to alter our in-born biologic needs for human relationships.
People still need people. One can go crazy or die from loneliness. Single men have a much higher rate of both suicide and early death than married men. Solitary confinement is a cruel torture known to cause madness. The need for long term relationships was and still is built into our physiology and psychology.
It’s possible to use an understanding of natural and necessary bonding between humans to disassemble a society and reconstruct it in frightening and powerful new ways. And it’s been done. Much cultural devastation have come to us via the thoughtful manipulation of populations based on the psychology of relationships.
Since people need people to be happy and healthy, any process which breaks apart interpersonal relationships causes sickness and unhappiness. Relationships form with people you’re close to and spend time with. This is the truth behind office relationships and on-the-job romances. When you spend more time with your co-worker than your spouse, your co-worker will seem more personable to you. It’s natural to fall for the boy next door. He’s right there all the time.
Since human relationships grow from proximity over time, anything that takes children or parents away from their family for many hours of many days of many years cannot help but divide and destroy family relationships. Frequent relocations for jobs assignments and schools chop people into unhappy individual units or fragile couple-sized fragments and kill essential community relationships.
But after the death of ordinary relationships, the need for human relationships still remains. And this need is like a vacuum waiting to be filled. Groups of people who’ve had their relationships removed and been reduced to isolated individuals are vulnerable to being manipulated through the use of pseudo-relationships.
These pseudo-relationships come through marketing agendas, gangs, cults, corporate organizations, schools and the military. This list is not inclusive. Welcome to the Chinese cultural revolution, Jonestown, Hitler’s Youth and the western military-industrial complex.
Pseudo-relationships in the form of electronic puppets tie up human relationship potential without nourishing or sustaining happiness or health. One can fall in pseudo-love with a pseudo-girl who sings to you from your electronic device. Since e-puppets and their pretend lives are so much larger, brighter and louder than ordinary people, a real person next to you in the room cannot compete.
We are old souls using ancient operating systems with old needs but we live in a brave new world.
There are specific ways to fight against ubiquitous mind control tactics and recover health and happiness. Turn off the pseudo-relationship feeds in your life to protect yourself from purveyors of false friends. Work to build and maintain strong family and community relationships with real people to fill the real relationship need.
The family that plays, eats, works, reads, walks and makes music together stays together. The family that lives together stays together. A family requires a lot of doing, being and staying together to stay together.
Human health and happiness requires long-term up-close-and-personal caring relationships with warm-blooded people. If you want to be healthier and happier, come together, be together and stay together. The best investment you can make for health and happiness is in long-term relationships. Family is a good place to start.
The family that hoops together stays together.
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Thanks for reading.