Sunday, April 4, 2010

The Lattice

In A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius, Dave Eggers describes the human community as a lattice:

"The lattice is the connective tissue...I see us as one, as a vast matrix, an army, a whole, each one of us responsible to one another, because no one else is."

To be a part of the lattice, you don't need to be brilliant, or rich, or powerful. You just need to believe in the lattice, and be. Those words have stuck with me for years. I am part of a smaller lattice, and that lattice has both made me who I am and kept me strong. It is comprised of the people that I love, people who have passed through my life, and sometimes people I don't know at all. My mother, my sister, my family and friends, my loved ones who have gone on to a better place, every boy I ever dated, the Cannonball Read participants, Pajibans, random people whom I pass on the street or hold the door for me - every one of these people have built and reinforced my personal lattice and brought something new and special into my life.

The framework of my lattice is love, kindness, and caring. When these things are interlocked they become stronger than the sum of their parts and they bear me up. By the same token, I am part of someone else's lattice. I may not even know it. But with each kind gesture, supportive word, or expression of encouragement and love, I am helping to bear someone else up. One of the best examples of this connection is Facebook; how many friends do you have on that social networking site whom you've actually met in real life? Often it is the friends you don't "know" who are there to support you when you lose your job, your home, a loved one, your mind. One small kindness adds another rung to someone's lattice. We are responsible for each other. We are responsible.

I believe in the lattice.

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