A part of being human is having the ability to grow deep connections with other humans. Human connection is a wild and magnificent thing. I have a few people in my life that have taught me just how beautiful it truly is. With each of these people, I have a million moments that rush through my mind as I write this, and I wish I could project these little stories on a wall and show you, but I only have the power of my keyboard to help explain my infatuation with human connection.
Do you remember the first time you talked to your best friend? Why did you connect with them? Take a moment and reflect on what your life would be like without your childhood best friend. Your high school best friend? What about your best friend in college? Although all of these friendships are different and happened for different reasons, you were meant to have those people in your life in some way. If your friendships with your best friends are anything like mine, then these people have been there for you through thick and thin. They have known you more than you may know yourself at times. How wonderful is that?
Then we have family — the very first human connection we make. As someone who is the youngest of six kids, I know how nauseating siblings can be. They steal our clothes, eat the food we were saving for later, and say things just to get under our skin. However, if you have siblings, you probably can’t imagine a life without them, no matter how different you are from them. Your parents also have known you for your entire life and they are people you may not get along with all of the time either. However, whether you realize it or not, you share a connection with them that will last forever. The connection we share with our families lives inside of us. Our families helped us grow into who we are today and continue to do so. We share similar characteristics with them, whether it’s the way we look or how we handle our emotions; our families helped groom these traits.
The third and most exciting form of human connection is love. There comes a time in everyone’s life where you’ve grown close with your friends, you are able to recognize the impact your family has made in your life, and just when things begin to fall into place, there will finally be love. Of course, you experience love through friendships and family, but the type of love I am referring to is different. The best way to explain it is by looking at the photo below this paragraph. This is the love you may have witnessed your whole life from your parents, or maybe through a sibling and their significant other. But this time, it is yours. This type of human connection holds enough power to change a person’s life. I know it changed mine. Love is also probably the most frightening form of connection because of all of the uncertainty that comes with it. However, a few months ago I wrote a blog post titled, “Welcoming in Uncertainty,” and I think that alone speaks for itself. No matter if it stays or leaves, if you discover it young or old, or if your love is near or far, this form of human connection reminds you just how alive you really are.
Human connection is an amazing thing that we are all so lucky to be able to experience. It is one of a very limited number of things that everyone on this Earth experiences. Right now, the world is going through a strange time. The streets covering the biggest cities in the world are completely empty. Friends are no longer seeing each other, families are connecting over FaceTime instead of dinner, and it feels like there has been a drought of love. However, this lack of human connection will be restored, and one day we will hug each other again. Friends will reunite, family members will be able to come over for dinner again, and love will continue to find people once more.
Lastly, I would like to provide an encouraging reminder. Throughout all of this chaos and this sense of new normal, I’m sure we have all heard how everyone is in this together and that we are all here for each other. However, people continue to fight online, protest against one another, and yell instead of listening. If you want to make a difference in today’s world and you want to preserve your own happiness, then be kind. Listen when people are talking to you and then take time to reflect on what they said before responding or creating a judgment in your head. Be kind to the people working in grocery stores, people working in restaurants still, health care workers, and anyone else who still has to go into work in order to make our lives easier. If we really want to experience a sense of unity through this, be willing to bag your own grocery’s if the store is understaffed, drive with extra caution in your neighborhood to protect the people walking, and if you are living with your parents, help them around the house. If we really are together through all of this, then kindness to everyone must be a priority.