We need connection as human beings. I have struggled with this and continue to try and find my way through seeking connections on various levels. I don’t suffer from depression or have any greater emotional need. I have lonely moments from a lack of feeling connected, who doesn’t, but I definitely see and feel a strong need in the world for connection.
“We were born with the craving for connection. Each of us every day look for evidence that we are not alone.” -Lisa Prosen
People slip by us in grocery stores, rarely do we thank our delivery man or woman, smiles seem to evaporate with the busy race that seems to speed up our lives and the constant attention our phones demand takes away any sense of eye contact or connection. We seem to be feeling more and more alone in this world.
One Republic has a great song called, “Connection” that illustrates this common feeling of needing connection by simply stating, “Can I get a connection.”
According to an article by Psychology Today, “In our advanced digital age, one of the prevalent concerns regarding the increasing emergence of loneliness is how we have become less caring of others. At one time, our very survival depended on trusting and supportive relationships. Fundamentally, it doesn’t matter how technologically sophisticated we become; emotional connectivity remains a core part of being human. We need each other—maybe not in the ways that characterized us evolutionarily, but for a need that remains essential for psychological survival.”
So, as many of my posts have talked about, I have been seeking and trying to connect more with those around me—strangers, restaurant workers, neighbors, etc. People need connection. They need a simple smile, a hello, someone interested, someone who notices them…simple things.
My daughter and I were driving down a road near our home and came upon a young man who had his arms full of stuff. Upon closer look, he was carrying garbage. I looked at my daughter and could not believe it!! I said to her, “how often do you see a kid your age picking up garbage? I am going to turn around and give him some praise and thank him.”
My daughter was mortified and said, “No, don’t!”
I smiled and turned the car abruptly and headed in the young man’s direction. We pulled the car over right in front of him. [I actually think I scared him & he wondered if we were going to run him over.]
I jumped out of the car & told him what an incredible thing he was doing. One person making a difference in any way he could. He smiled and was so humble. My daughter by this point figured she should say something and got out of the car. We all exchanged some small talk about different areas/projects we have tried to do cleanups to help make a difference. We were all passionate about making small differences. It was a fun conversation and we ended up taking all the garbage in our car so he could finish his run home.
It was a great moment of connection. We were so happy we stopped and made a new friend—someone else who needed the connection. We all left that moment better. Sure we could have just kept driving, but we would have missed such a blessed moment together. It was a gift to all of us.
So, next time you see someone who may need a compliment, a boost, praise, a hand to hold, a smile, a ride, a friend…just connect. It will change your day and theirs too.