Many of us have struggled with disconnection this past year: disconnection from routines, places, and people we love. But rather than focus on disconnection today, I thought we would consider surprising sources of connection. Have you ever been surprised with a kindred spirit connection to someone or something?
In My Octopus Teacher, filmmaker Craig Foster develops a surprise connection with…an octopus! The emotional depth of the relationship hooked viewers, and the documentary became a surprise hit (you can see it on Netflix if you’re curious). What’s more, the unusual connection helped Foster work through burnout and provided many more lessons.
This unusual year showed us other unique connections: grandparents supervising the education of grandchildren and children entering the work life of parents. Such a special relationship developed between an elderly woman and a school bus full of children–they paused their morning commute to wish her a happy 93rd birthday.
What would the world be like if everyone, like those children, had the enthusiasm and joy to shout encouragement to strangers? These days, how might we truly connect with others near and far? One of my happy surprises this year has been interviewing people across the globe–like my friend in Senegal who provided these Dakar soundscapes (have you guessed the sounds yet?).
Whether we can engage in-person relationships soon or continue to rely on technology and distanced greetings, connections are essential to humanity. Researchers have pointed to lack of connection as more dangerous than obesity, high blood pressure, or smoking. Loneliness poses serious threats to body and mind.
Give yourself the gift of connecting to someone today with a kind word or a curious question. And if you’re desiring a community to connect with on topics of emotional readiness, small steps forward, and connection across life’s adventure moments, you’re at the right place.
Thank you for being here!