We all long to be seen for who we are, and we have a deep need to see and to know others as well. But, despite this yearning for connection, many of us live like islands, peering out toward distant shorelines. In reality we are all immersed in the ocean of our shared humanity, each wishing in our hearts to make a voyage toward the horizon of true community.
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We’re taught that it is impolite to talk to strangers. But why? How lonely a world we have dreamt for ourselves, where we scarcely know the names of our neighbors, and find greater ease in seeking intimacy through online dating than by saying a simple hello to the human right in front of us who draws us in as we’re moving through our day.
Most of us need and want so much more connection and community than we are actively experiencing. When we are in dialogue with those around us, about things both large and small, we begin to sense our shared humanity and our shared fate. We begin to see that we are not alone — not even close, but that we are simply surrounded by friends and relations we’ve yet to meet.