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Human Connection

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My life as you may have noticed has taken a turn for the introspective. I am attempting to find myself in a larger context and to make my way through the world aware of my actions and their influence. Lately I have been reading The Book of Joy. The Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu make the point that we as humans are interdependent. We need other people to survive. We come into this world because of other people and we leave the world among other people. The data shows that more people are experiencing loneliness and do not have someone to confide in or share with.

This idea of interconnection has made me consider the world and the people in it very differently. We are all people looking for others to connect with, to trust in, to confide in. We are all human and no matter our circumstance that connects us.

My husband pushes me to question why I am trying to connect, am I doing it for my own accolades or for others. I think it really does not matter, because I know when I am open to connection I feel better and happier and my joy is then contagious. It seems to be a chicken and an egg situation it does not matter my motivation, it matters the effect it has.

Prior to reading this book, during the past summer, I had informally started a tradition for myself. On my daily walks I would say hi to the people I saw. All of them, whether they said hi back or not. I did not see this as anything particularly useful or meaningful, but I chose to do this because I noticed when people had said hello to me I felt connected and good. I wanted to spread that feeling to others. I do know my context, and living in Iowa this may seem more achievable than elsewhere, but I would argue that just because it appears achievable does not make it any less valuable here and in fact makes saying hello more valuable elsewhere where it might not be the norm.

I grew up on the East Coast and if nothing else it is known for how closed off people are, they are very private and keep to their own business, which may be understandable. Yet, I also believe that no matter the culture of where we were raised or the culture of those around us, we have the power to make our own destiny. We can choose the culture we put forth in the world. I choose connection, I choose to say hello.

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