<b>Human Connection by Barbara Schweitzer</b><br><br>Audio version <a href="http://ripr.org/post/human-connection"target="_blank">www.ripr.org</a><br><br>I believe in repair. Not just because my husband and I live in an old house in northern RI and drive cars with over 100 thousand miles each. Or because I hang onto to my cell phone so long the manufacturer no longer makes parts for it.<br><br>In this world where things are replaced long before they need repair, I realize repair seems old-fashioned like darning socks or resoling shoes. But I believe it’s what we were born to do.<br><br>When my daughter was two years old, she became distraught the first time she saw a crescent moon, gesturing to the night sky, crying “it’s broken, it’s broken,” as if her own heart were broken.<br><br>Under less dire circumstances, she also showed us how lower case “r’s” are broken “h’s,” and that instead of Cyclops, we should name one-eyed monsters Clop’s Eye since that’s what the monsters are all about.<br><br>The point is children know broken things when they see and hear them.<br><br>I believe that’s because repair is our first act of life. When we feel the cold air surround us at birth, we cry. We cry and we cry, and we keep on crying until the distance between us and another human being we absolutely need is repaired.<br><br>We are made up of two genetic strands. So it makes sense that we need to live like a pair of socks all our lives. Not quite right unless we’re matched up with other human beings. Re-PAIRED, just as the word says: rejoined separate things.<br><br>Solitary confinement is a cruel punishment. Shunning kills people. Isolation makes us feel crazy.And we’re not the only ones on earth who do this kind of repairing. Bees do it in intricate dances, birds by singing, dogs by barking – all manners of speech and sound and acts are on our tool-belts so that we can connect with one another.<br><br>We humans complicate things, of course. We invent machines. So most of the time, we don’t notice what we’re really doing when we text, Instant Message, Twitter or call one another. We just know we have to keep doing it. Now we worry about being too “intexticated” to drive. So intoxicated on our tools we forget what we’re doing.<br><br>That it’s all about making relationships. Connecting. And it doesn’t have to be complicated. Even chatting about the weather in the grocery store line is a way we repair distance between us. Saying good morning. Happy Birthday. Welcome to your new home.<br><br>Disagreeing is a way of re-pairing, even when we feel mismatched.<br><br>Repair is really just another word for love. And, I believe, to paraphrase the Beatles, all we need is repair. Repair is all we need.