What do we need as human beings to survive? food, shelter, reproduction, connection. We are social beings. Babies literally die without human touch and connection. Adults don’t do well either, mentally or physically, without human connection.
I saw this video recently HERE. Amnesty International conducted an experiment. They put refugees from Somalia and Syria in front of individuals from Europe and the instructions were to just look into each others eyes for four minutes. They were hoping that this looking at each other would be the start of a connection and a realization of shared humanity. As you will see, it worked.
I have said many times that I am so happy here in Panama, and the main reason is the people. I feel like they really SEE me. When they look at me, talk with me, and smile at me I feel that connection. Of course I had friends in the US but people you don’t know, they don’t see you in the same way. The checkout person at the supermarket says “have a nice day” but you know it isn’t for you, really. It’s just what they have been trained to say. Here though, even people I don’t know, they look me in the eyes. They are curious about who I am. They want to make a connection and it’s a really nice feeling.
The US has been so terribly divided and it seems to be getting worse and worse. We are losing our realization that we are all humans, we are all people. We are losing compassion for our brothers and sisters suffering within and without our borders. A Syrian refugee may be just a drain on our resources, a problem to be avoided. But, when you make eye contact with a refugee, see who they are as a person, hear their story, understand their journey, how can you not feel their humanity.
I try to stay away from the news and politics, but it’s impossible to not know what is going on. It affects my family, my friends, and the entire world. Now more than ever we need to see the humanity in each other. We need to stand by and support each other, especially those who may feel pushed aside and disrespected. I hope that where there are negative forces gaining strength, there will be positive forces gaining even more strength. I see that happening already.