Paul Chong Friday, 4 January 2019
Modern technology with email, WhatsApp, Skype, Massenger, Smartphone etc has made contact with loved ones, relatives & friends so very instant, convenient, free & easy. However, speaking from personal experience, I find to my dismay that most people simply don’t connect, bother to respond or reciprocate. Frequent exchanges of massages, information or even jokes are the avenues of staying in touch & be connected. Some people just love to be on the receiving end but uninitiated or not courteous enough to respond. People just don’t connect, too busy, ill-mannered or what.
We are constantly running around, too busy for others. We stop communicating with one another. Having a whole lots of names in our contact list without connection is absolutely of no value.
To best illustrate the difference between contact & connection, let me share this interview between an American journalist & the Buddhist monk . . .
Journalist – “Sir , in your last lecture, you told us about Jogajog ( contact ) & Sanjog (connection ). It’s really confusing. Can you explain?”
The Monk smiled and apparently deviating from the question asked the journalist: “Are you from New York?”
Journalist – “Yes…”
Monk – “Who are there at home?”
The Journalist felt that the Monk was trying to avoid answering his question since this was a very personal and unwarranted question. Yet the journalist said: “Mother has expired. Father is there. Three brothers and one sister. All married…”
The Monk, with a smile on his face, asked again: – “Do you talk to your father?”
The journalist looked visibly annoyed…
The Monk – “When did you talk to him last?”
The journalist, suppressing his annoyance said: “May be a month ago.”
The Monk: “Do your brothers and sisters meet often ? When did you meet last as a family gathering?”
At this point, sweat on the forehead of the journalist. You may wonder who was conducting the interview, the Monk or the Journalist. It seemed that the Monk was interviewing the Journalist.
With a sigh , the Journalist said: “We met last at Christmas two years ago.”
The Monk: ” How many days did you all stay together ?”
The Journalist ( wiping the sweat on his brow) said : “Three days…”
Monk: “How much time did you spend with your Father, sitting right beside him ?”
The journalist was looking perplexed and embarrassed and scribbling something on a paper…
The Monk: “Did you have breakfast, lunch or dinner together? Did you ask how he was? Did you ask how his days are passing after your mother’s death?”
Drops of tears were coming out from the eyes of the journalist.
The Monk held the hand of the journalist and said: “Don’t be embarrassed, upset or sad. I am sorry if I have hurt you unknowingly…
But this is basically the answer to your question about contact and connection ( jogajog and Sanjog)”. You have ‘contact’ with your father but you don’t have ‘connection’ with him. You are not connected to him. Connection is between heart and heart… sitting together , sharing meals and caring for each other ; touching , shaking hands, having eye contact, spending some time together…Your brothers and sisters have ‘contact’ but you have no ‘connection’ with each other….”
The journalist wiped his eyes and said : “Thanks for teaching me a fine and unforgettable lesson”
This is the reality today.
Whether at home or in the society everybody has lots of contacts but there is no connection. No communication… . Everybody is in his or her own world.
Let us not maintain just “contacts” but let us remain “connected”; caring, sharing and spending time with all our dear ones.