Human beings by their very nature look for connection with others. From the baby seeking out his mother’s face for comfort, the child crawling onto a parents lap if they are afraid, to the couples who hold hands. There is another kind of connection however that is often overlooked and neglected, which the connection made during conversation.
So many people nowadays spend their lives looking down at various electronic devices fretting over ‘social’ network connections, that they miss the opportunity to connect with those actually around them. It distresses me to see couples sitting side by side both in their own electronic social world. I often wonder if they are using ‘it’ to ‘talk’ to each other whilst they are sitting side by side. No wonder the world is full of lonely, or anxious people when connection to a real person seems difficult to find.
Just the act of looking at the world around you and smiling at a stranger can make a difference to both your and their day, having a moment of connection with another human being.
I had occasion today to have to go for a medical test. When I walked into the room there were six or so other people waiting in absolute silence, all avoiding eye contact. As I walked in I smiled, and said hello to everyone and asked how they were, making general conversation and connecting with them. By the time I left the room was full of people talking and laughing, what a wonderful thing to experience, just by making an attempt to connect with others.
I am not suggesting that a smile or a small conversation will heal the world of its current anxiety and problems but, perhaps next time you are out you could try connecting with others, verbally, treating them as real people not avatars on an electronic device. As someone recently said happiness is contagious, so why not spread a little by connecting with others. Go on, see what happens.