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.

About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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68 Responses to Connection

  1. Very nice, Kris! Thank you for sharing this!


  2. I love this post, Kris. The eyes are truly the windows to the soul, and we are all eternal, DIVINE souls housed in different packages.
    And you are so right, our only hope is that positive forces will gain even more strength. I, too, think I see that happening. I pray that it’s true.

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Leya says:

    Love this. Beautiful. Came here from Liza’s. Let us hope for the positive forces to grow stronger and stronger…We must never give up hoping.


  5. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    I wish all the social media would just crash, for a week. Force all those folks to go outside and look around. Not much has really changed in the U.S. The system still works. We had some riots, protests, everyone has a chance to voice their positions. That is a good system.

    Chiriqui is the best province in Panama. The folks are hard workers, independent, self-sufficient. They overcome their problems and keep going. They don’t have time for social media, and don’t need it. I wish the USA was like that again.


  6. Mike says:

    Such a moving video….it is alot easier to be nice to each other than not….


  7. Thank you Kris for bringing this “experiment” to our view.

    My husband and I (US citizens) lived in Morocco for about 18 months. We found the same transparency in the Moroccan people. They were really there with us when we met them or spoke with them. The young ones would immediately put aside their smart phones and put their full attention on us, if we indicated any interest at all in speaking to them. At times, the intimacy of real connection with “strangers” challenged us. We began to realize how much was missing with our “friends and family” connections “back home.”

    We return to the US changed, and determined to bring this level of connection back into our own spheres of influence. We are now living in an intentional community in Oregon with people who are ready to connect and engage with us in a true and transparent manner. We feel immensely blessed for the experiences we’ve had (and are having) that have shown us that we can make these connections with people around the world, anytime, anywhere — we just need to be willing to see and let ourselves be seen. Blessings on your path, Alia


  8. Reblogged this on New Earth Paradigm and commented:
    I thank Lisa at Playamart Zebra Designs for bringing this to my attention. Upon watching this video I commented that Tomas and I had experienced this kind of eye to eye connection with people in Morocco — even with perfect strangers! People would surprise us with their Presence, even in casual conversation — they were really THERE with us. We quickly learned to match them and as a result gained many close and lasting friendships in a culture that is quite different from our native one. We learned that people are people and that it is possible to connect deeply with others, in spite of such differences when we look through our eyes with our hearts open, or at least be willing to let our hearts open in the process. Enjoy this documentation of hearts opening, Alia


  9. Wow.. what an exceptional post.. and so apt right now for what we are witnessing in our world..
    I came via Alia’s reblog of your post.. The video made me weep and with your permission I would love to reblog it on my site..

    Here today in cities around the UK many with multicultural communities they have been taking to the streets in peaceful support to their Muslim neighbors and those not of UK origins. And what I see happening despite all the Divisions and hatred being vented I see the other side of the coin..

    I see a world waking up and uniting for what is right.. I see a world now standing up to say NO to segregation, racism, and bigotry . We may be witnessing chaotic times to come.. But let us see also what it may well release to the surface of all those who so far have sat silently by doing nothing..

    We saw it in the Womans World March.. 2017 is a time for change and I hope it Unites us and does not divide us..

    Love and Blessings
    Sue xxx


    • Thank you so much for this comment!
      I have seen the people taking to the streets, but to see people in the UK and so many other countries also standing with us for what is right, it makes my heart swell with gratitude and hope. I think you are right that as painful as it is for now, we need this waking up.
      The video is on Youtube available for everyone, or feel free to share anything from my blog also if you wish.
      You have a beautiful blog πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

      • No the credit of the post is yours and yours alone Kris.. and I will direct people to your post.. Its a great reminder that we are HUMAN BEINGS first.. And thank you for that lovely compliment.. Likewise Kris Many thanks again.. xxx πŸ™‚

        Liked by 2 people

  10. Reblogged this on Dreamwalker's Sanctuary and commented:
    Today I was directed via a reblog to this wonderful post by Kris Cunningham.. I felt so drawn to her message within her post as we relate it to what is going off in the World right now, especially across the Pond in the USA.. That I had to re-share it here..
    I do hope you go and read the post in full and let Kris know your thoughts..

    Please ,Please watch the video, I had tears as it moved me.. We are United in that we are ALL of us Human BEings.. We are not all tarred with the same brush of those who give us labels.
    WE now are uniting to stand in Unity for what is Right..

    Today is the beginning of the Year of the Rooster.. Let us make our wakeup call be heard worldwide.. WE stand for Peace and Equality, Not Racism and Segregation
    Love and Blessing
    Sue ❀

    Liked by 3 people

  11. peggyjoan42 says:

    This post and video are fantastic. We all need to learn to love others.


  12. Beautiful non toxic way to recognize oneness


  13. Tom Merriman says:

    Thank you, Kris, for sharing this amazing video. It really helps to be able to see beyond what we are being told.


  14. So much beauty and understanding from such a simple exercise. Thanks for this post.


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  16. Erika Kind says:

    I come over because of Sue’s reblog and after reading your heartfelt words I want to repeat what I commented at hers: We are all one and have always been. In trying to destroy this truth through some individuals we feel it even stronger!
    Although it is sad and shocking what happens now. But I believe that this is the wake-up call to eventually unite us all! Thank you for your poignant post, Kris!


  17. Eugenia says:

    Well done! We in the US need to be positive and move forward. “If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change your attitude.” – Maya Angelou


  18. Val Boyko says:

    Beautiful and moving. Thank you Kris for this wonderful share πŸ™


  19. dgkaye says:

    Beautiful ❀


  20. Really a beautiful post, came here by Sue’s reblog. We need to see each other, this helps so much πŸ™‚


  21. I cried watching this. Just so touched ….


  22. laura kilty says:

    Incredibly moving video and beautiful post to go with it- we all want to be seen and connection, as you say, is so important for survival on this earth. I am really glad Sue took me to your page, I look forward to reading more of your posts.x


  23. maskednative says:

    So glad to have been re-directed to your post from Sue Dreamwalker. The video was very touching, proving that we are all connected, needing each other to know ourselves. It moved me to tears also.
    I wish you peace and love


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  25. Through the eyes we see the Beauty within all mankind
    A beautiful post.
    Please ignore the previous comment, it appears I pasted an old copy from another site.


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