More and more, I become convinced that what we need in this world is connection.
Eye contact. Genuine empathy. Authenticity. Guards down.
I walk down the street and a girl smiles at me and I don’t even know her but I light up inside, pulled from my isolation on my lunch break, wanting to turn around and run back to her and say, “That was nice, wasn’t it?”
We say things like, “How are you?” and “Good” and “How are you?” and “Good” but they don’t mean anything and eight seconds later we feel exactly the same as we did before, not actually interested in how they are and not actually showing up as our true selves at all.
An email comes through my work inbox that begins with “Happy Friday, Ruth!” from someone I’ve never met and don’t ever work with and it feels real, genuine, like a small spark of connection on an otherwise boring Friday sitting at my desk, alone.
The saddest thing I’ve ever heard is that after the Columbine shooting, they found two half-empty bottles of the herb St. John’s Wort in the bedroom of Dylan Klebold, one of the shooters. I can’t think about this without wanting to cry. He recognized that he was struggling. In some capacity, this boy wanted to feel better.
I realize that eye contact wouldn’t have stopped him from committing this horrendous crime. But what if intimacy and emotion and vulnerability were used to fight back against these powers in our world that are continuously trying to convince us that fear and hatred win?
I just hung up the phone with a woman at the front desk of a local hotel. A simple exchange, confirmation numbers and shuttle times and such. She sounded pleasant. Happy, even. As we were about to hang up, she said, “Thanks so much Ruth! Have a great day.” It felt real. I responded, real.
“kiss your friends’ faces more / destroy the belief that intimacy must be reserved for monogamous relationships / be more loving / embrace platonic intimacy / embrace vulnerability / use emotionality as a radical tactic against a society which teaches you that emotions are a sign of weakness / tell more people you care about them / hold their hands / tell others you are proud of them / offer support readily / take care of the people around you.” – Lora Mathis
Right? Can you imagine?
Sending love to us all today, friends. I'm going to smile at people today, even if it feels weird. Join me?
Bits of encouragement today: