In the light of recent events, I’ve noticed that people are beginning to “open up” more. “Life is the importance now!” is the general message from almost every feel-good media outlet (and even some that are downright nasty). But why does it take 5000 lives for people to open up their arms and connect with each other? Give blood and friendship? Call friends and reunite with family?

A girl at the school that I attend committed suicide on Friday. I didn’t know her personally, but the general message circulating around the school is, “But she was such a happy person!” Now, pardon my helpless, youthful naivete, but does happy equal hanging yourself with a telephone cord? I have to conclude that her so called “happiness” and popularity was all a façade. She was frustrated, with herself and the world.

Now, these two events may not appear directly connected, but they both led me to wonder: Why aren’t people real anymore?

Is it just me, or are other people beginning to notice that no one ever really talks anymore? Aren’t themselves anymore? How there are so many people that you know, if only by name? The ones that you nod and (fake) smile to, the ones that you just talk about gaming and parties and people and irrelevance with? That sometimes you call these people your friends?

Isn’t it interesting how people say they want things like love and happiness, and never make any direct change as to getting these things accomplish? How people dismiss personal satisfaction to the luck of the draw and something that will happen to them when they decide to quit their soulless job, “once they get around to it?” I’m sick of life being so mundane. I’m sick of repeating the same routine, day in and day out, and never living. I want passion and sparks and a life well lived. And I want it now.

How many people, today, are saying “I’m fine” when they aren’t fine? When the pain inside of them becomes so deep that they can’t even bear reality anymore? That they wish someone would talk to them about feeling and life and the things that everyone dismisses as trite, but are really the most beautiful things of all? How many of these people commit suicide? Even worse, how many of these people regret never really having a friend on their deathbed? Who says “Gee, I wish I had talked about Carmen Electra more,” before passing on to the wild blue yonder? There are commercials on TV about talking to your kids about drugs. What about talking to your kids about reality?

And what about touch? I miss touch. Why is it that we have such we have such an intense fear of touch? Even a simple absentminded brush of the fingertips can visibly make someone withdraw in today’s society. That little invisible bubble of personal space keeps on expanding, and expanding….. one of my long-distance friends confessed to me the other day that they hadn’t been truly hugged in TWO MONTHS. Can you imagine? Babies withering away to die at the lack of physical contact, and this full grown sentient , intelligent, successful man not receiving any form of affection for two months???

Perhaps we’re just shy. Perhaps humans are just naturally superficial creatures, destined to shy away from the real problems of humanity with a nod and a smile. Perhaps the media has subtly influenced us to believe that showing any sign of emotion is weakness, that any sign of personal conviction is error. You think Big Brother isn’t influencing you? Look at the signs. People aren’t connecting with one another anymore.

My personal mission: Laugh with someone tomorrow. Hug someone tomorrow. Remind my friends that I love them. Remember that life is what we make of it.