“I think that when the dust settles, we will realize how little we need, how very much we actually have, and the true value of human connection.”
On March 7 at 1:47 a.m., my father Marvin passed on to be with my mom and other loved ones in Heaven. The morning of his passing, I asked Google to play some of his favorite songs. A direct message came from my dad when “Cheek to Cheek” played — it begins with the words, “Heaven, I’m in Heaven…”.
As we cried and celebrated the life of this wonderful man, my family, friends, and the many loving and generous caregivers who supported him experienced the value and joy of our many human connections.
What are some of your stories of extraordinary and simple moments of human connection? How can you more fully embrace the richness these moments offer you each and every day?
“Every great group is an island – but an island with a bridge to the mainland.”
—Warren Bennis & Patricia Ward, Organizing Genius
Image from Unsplash by Mohamed Thasneem
During my walk this morning the lyrics, “No man is an island, no man stands alone” ran through my mind. The topic of my daily meditation session was interconnectedness.
My daughter and grandson are visiting for the first time in almost six months. Belonging and being a part of our communities has clearly been disrupted and challenged recently, and most of us can feel a sense of emptiness longing to be filled.
Take a close look at all the groups to which you belong. How do they look today? Consider examining any or all of the following, and a few of your own:
• City, State, Country
How and in what ways can you see, build, and cross the bridges between the numerous islands in your life, to find the fundamental mainland we all share?
While walking around my neighborhood the other day I ran into Paul, a friend from my health club when it is not closed due to social distancing efforts.
While keeping our distance, we discussed our families. Mine live in other states, his live nearby. Surprisingly, we discovered that we are both using video chatting platforms to stay connected. He informed me that it was virtually impossible to buy a webcam due to the spike in this method of communication.
In some ways, we have all become video celebrities with our families, friends, and business colleagues as our audiences, and we as theirs.
How and in what ways can you more fully demonstrate just how important these people are to you today, and when we can (hopefully) reconnect in person?
“When people are like each other, they tend to like each other.”
—Tony Robbins, American author, philanthropist and life coach
Image from the Jane Goodall Collection
Did you know that humans and chimpanzees share about 96 percent of the same DNA? Perhaps this is why we enjoy documentaries on these special creatures. When we observe them, we see numerous ways we are alike, such as in the care and nurturing of baby chimps.
Regarding human-to-human interactions, we often operate out of the Birds of a Feather Flock Together idea. At the same time, we can be very focused on where and how we differ as reasons to avoid, dislike, and even hate one another.
How would looking for the similarities and common characteristics and traits of others be the source of more friendships and closer communities in your world?
Learning about how our universe works and taking a cosmic perspective has me appreciate equally my smallness and my connection to the whole of everything. This perspective has given me a passion for learning and self-development. That, in turn, has provided me much joy and satisfaction, and permits me to embrace the impermanence and the miracle of being alive.
How would taking a far more cosmic perspective of your life provide you access to living an even more extraordinary one?
“I keep six honest serving men: (They taught me all I knew) Their names were Where and What and When and Why and How and Who.”
—Rudyard Kipling, 20th Century English Journalist & Poet
Begin a conversation with any of the Six Honest Serving Men from Kipling’s quote and you’re off to a great start in learning something new. You may even develop or nurture a new or existing relationship.
Powerful open-ended questions beginning with one of the Six Honest Serving Men open doors to new knowledge. They also demonstrate a genuine interest in others, which we all relish.
For today, I suggest you direct these probing and door-opening words toward yourself, to see what new worlds of discovery lie within.
Ask and answer some of your most important and pressing questions of the day. Then consider asking “What Else?” to see what you can learn by probing deeper than your surface answers.
“We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”
—William James, 19th Century American Philosopher/Physician
One of my favorite forms of entertainment and education is watching documentaries, especially when they relate to our natural world. In the BBC series Human Planet, the filmmakers take us on a journey to many fascinating places around the world, including diverse island communities.
To my delight and fascination, many deeply held common bonds are shared by each society, such as the importance of family, community, contribution, and the desire to serve a higher purpose.
How can you look below the surface of your current professional and personal relationships to see more of what connects versus separates us from one another?