Human connection often overlooked

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The Human Library event that took place last week really got me thinking: human connection is so important.

In the modern, technologically based age, so much of our daily lives have become incredibly fast-paced. Each day is a running stream of one thing after another, constantly moving from one task and responsibility to the next with barely any time in between. However, I believe that despite our fast-paced lives, it is important to take the time out to connect with another human being.

Virtually, we are all very close to being the same. We have to get up, go somewhere such as school or work (maybe even both), get through the day and finally have the ability to make it back home to unwind and repeat the same routine the next day. It can become quite monotonous, and in that monotony we often forget to take a step back and allow ourselves to focus on something else other than the familiar routine.

Because most of our daily and weekly routines are so close to being set in stone, we hardly have the time to sit down and have a conversation with another person that exceeds the all-too-typical exchange that goes something like: “Hi, how are you?” “I’m good, you?” “Good, thanks!”

And after displaying the superficial reassurance that everything is fine, you both carry on your merry way.

Those quick exchanges stay on the surface, the participants being careful to avoid conversations about topics that may be controversial, substantial and maybe even “too real.” Since so many of us are anticipating the next thing we need to accomplish in a day, we simply do not allow the time to have a deep, real conversation with someone.

However, when we do allow ourselves the time to slow down and fulfill a conversation that breaks the surface, a large realization hits: a connection exists that you either forgot about or had not yet discovered. There is a line from a song that I like quite a lot: “And you can’t believe it’s true / there are people like you.” When we are running around and bull-dozing through the day, we block out anything that may alter the things that we need to get done. But when we take the time to put a break in our day, we are reassured with a sense of comfort.

It is not very likely that you will run into someone and their life story aligns perfectly with yours. In contrast, it is very possible that someone has felt the same things that you have or struggled in a similar way. Even though we tend to be avoidant of those deep conversations, they are essential to our growth. One of the hardest parts of going through something is believing that you are alone in your experience. The thing is, when you take the time to connect with one another, you realize that you are very far from being alone. Again, your story will not be in perfect alignment with your coworker’s story, or even the stories and experiences of your siblings.

I guess what I am trying to say is, take the time to sit and connect with someone else. Set up a time for coffee, take a few minutes extra out of your break at work, or call up the friend you have been thinking of. Break out of your shell of superficiality and take the time to connect with someone else.