August 17, 2021- After checking financial news this afternoon, I read a brief account of a young woman who responded to having been snubbed, by a group with whom she had associated for a few years, by organizing meet-ups for other people who were feeling left out of their social circles. Through the more popular social media sites, including Instagram, SnapChat and TikTok, and by carefully organizing gatherings only in outside venues, paying close attention to local trends in virus transmission, this woman has connected thousands of teenagers and young adults in relatively safe and peaceful meet-ups, across the United States.
One of the hardest experiences anyone can have is to feel disrespected (“dissed”), or shunned, especially by those who have won the person’s trust. I’ve had a few such experiences, though not for at least a dozen years. My own response was to quietly leave the gathering, and make it a point to no longer associate with the instigators of the snub. I am also aware of several readers’ experiences, along a similar line, over the years. I have cut off contact with a few people who have attacked me publicly-one physically, in the past three years, but that is more a matter of self-defense than an attempt at snobbery. I am also aware of several readers’ experiences, along a similar line, over the years. It had to have hurt, but by all accounts, you each handled it well.
None of us is immune from social isolation, but the young woman mentioned above, whose name is Marissa Meizz, has shown a fine middle path between ad hominem rebuttals (which solve nothing) and curling up in an isolated ball (ditto). She may have very well saved many lives, bringing people out of isolation and into a wider social circle. Recognizing that all that most people want is at least to be occasionally included in social gatherings is as much a step towards establishing peaceful communities, as is any movement based on social justice.
I look forward to ever more gatherings and building friendships, as time goes on. May Marissa find the same.