The Precious Nature of Socializing
Has anyone noticed that no religion uses wet towels to represent salvation and the diminution of sin?
Has anyone noticed that no community gathers strength and identity through the embrace of radishes grown in its vicinity?
Has anyone noticed that men don't pursue women through the act of watering and dining them?
Isn't it true that wine, far more than anything else, is used to express the precious nature of community and socializing? Why is this true? Why don't radishes or wet towels or bars of soap serve this purpose? I haven't an answer to this question, but rather I have had the opportunity to reflect on the fact that wine is dynamically ingrained into the human experience of socializing.
I came to this line of thought as I pondered the potential impact of social networks and social networking tools on the human species. At first glance it seems that socializing is an ingrained part of the human species, even its most common expression. But, more true than this is the fact that periods of quiet loneliness are a far more common element of the human experience than is social interaction. Surely we all spend far more time interacting with ourselves than interacting with others. And it is certainly true that in the past, technology has provided no means at all for socializing on the large and grand scales that current technology allows.
Perhaps the rituals that have arisen around gatherings and communal activity and perhaps the symbols, such as wine, that have been employed to celebrate gatherings of more than one, have in fact been in response to the uniqueness, preciousness and rarity that is the movement out of self and into the many.
If this is true, what does the current rush to embrace a 24/7 mode of socializing via Facebook, Twitter and other tools mean for human culture and even human evolution?
What does the future hold for wine-as-symbol when the preciousness of gatherings that it celebrates is no longer so precious? Again, for this I have no answer, but I suspect the answer is just now brewing.