Connection. A word that is easy to misunderstand in today’s social media-obsessed culture. Does having hundreds of “friends” on Facebook constitute connection? Have we really connected with someone when we like their picture on Instagram? Is connection simply typed words on a screen via text message?
How can I better connect with people beyond what I know about them from their Facebook profile page?
These are some questions I have begun to ask in order to fully connect with my fellow Earthlings:
What propels you forward?
The saddest thing in the world is to wake up only because you didn’t die during the night. We all require a drive, a motivation to get up and do what we WANT to do. Notice I did not say, need to do. What is that thing, that belief, that dream that lifts you off the ground? Tell me about it.
Who are you in this moment?
Introspection is a dirty, scary word. It is a risk to look in the mirror and confront our wrinkles and scars. It takes courage to see ourselves for who we are and say, “I must not remain this way.” It is no easy endeavor to work at improving our flaws, but it all begins with a deep look inward.
What kind of person do you want to be?
People can do hurtful things sometimes. I do hurtful things sometimes. The key is to move away from hurting those we say we love, towards being people that heal, build, enhance the lives of others. Who do I want to ultimately become, is a question we should ask ourselves today.
Have you laughed today?
Laughter is often experienced in the company of others. And if connection is what we seek, then laughter is a necessary component. Children are the best teachers. Learn from them, they know how to laugh without reservation and for no reason at all.
Do you want to eat with me?
The dinner table is sacred. It is here that families, friends, strangers sit down and share. There are few other places where we see this type of interaction. Ask someone to eat with you, someone you may not know well and engage in this ancient ritual. Ask them about how the food they eat at home differs from what you eat. May this be the beginning towards more understanding and awareness.
What do you like about yourself?
We need to find the balance between wanting to improve ourselves and being content with who we are. All is not flaws and wrinkles. There is also beauty in your gaze. There is resilience and strength in your being. Be aware of it.
How often do you sit in silence?
Silence is almost unheard of today. We blast music from our phones, messages constantly vibrate in our pockets, city streets are contaminated with noise and movement. How can we even begin to dive deeper when we don’t even make time to think? Silence is a gift. Unwrap it.
How have you experienced love?
Love is everything. But we all experience it in distinct ways. Is it a wink, a hug, a shoulder to cry on? Has love overwhelmed you through an act of kindness? Was it a phone call at the precise moment you needed encouragement? I want to know how love makes a presence in your life because why breathe if not to love?
These are only a few questions you can ask in order to begin a dialogue. Try it out today with someone new. Perhaps it will mark the start of a beautiful friendship.