I feel better when I have been out and about connecting with people. We are social animals after all. As Albert Einstein said “A human being is part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is kind of a prison to us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
Some of us think that working, studying and catching up with friends for dinner and movies is the best way to build concrete relationships. Yes, it will feel awesome for a few weeks or months but you will still be lonely. You will need to crave deeper and stronger connections. Whether we realize it or not we all want to connect, be understood and feel less alone in this world. Connecting with one another is like fitting together different pieces of a puzzle. It feels good when you all the pieces fit together. That’s how desperate we are for human connection.
Our need for social connection is a survival instinct as important as food, water and shelter.
To have one person who you can trust with your vulnerabilities and feel comfortable enough to lay your heart and soul to them is the ultimate human connection you need. A person who when he/she starts to speak every word and letter that comes out of their mouth confirms that the connection is real. Giving an ear to whatever the person has to say and listening without judging can change their life for good. It makes them feel loved and feel cared for by others. Speaking out your mind and telling people the truth unchains your soul from fear.
Having that kind of humanity to reach out and hug someone when they feel lonely, helping those in need and being grateful for your family, friends and your ability to do something in this world is for a greater good. It equips us with the ability to tell our stories to the world. Showing the world who we really are, what we represent and what we advocate for. All these requires courage and it’s not that easy. Courage takes guts, fear, trembling, and being scared.
In the spirit of human connection there is one core ingredient that cannot be left out which is storytelling. The power of words and storytelling opens us to wonder, enchantment and imagination, all of which are our birthright as humans. When we experience this deep, previously obscured connection, we shift from “us” and “them” to “we”. Listening to these stories of belonging and connection is a sacred way of giving attention to another that connects and heals the us. I believe everyone has a story and storytelling has the possibility of changing the world. As President Obama said, “Our stories are singular but our destiny is shared.”
So stop making yourself feel better by saying you are not good with people. Deep inside you know you want people to love and appreciate you, all humans are desperate for relationships.
One is a small number to achieve greatness.