Power of Human Connection

9 Apr

Black and white photo of a young girl in Nicaragua

The aura of this young Nicaraguan girl represents to me the power of human connection, across ages, cultures, economic divisions, and ethnicities. (March 2003)

Current Location: Washington, DC

The single greatest motivation behind my restlessness to experience all the world has to offer is quite simply the power of human connection. Something happens to the soul when we find connections among each other and other people living different lives in different lands, of different cultures and with different traditions. There is no better way to learn who you are than through the power to connect.

In every step across a new culture, and new people, I’ve had many moments that proved to me that we do transfer our energy (or prana) from one to another, in even the smallest of interactions. Every time we make eye contact with a stranger, we are making a powerful human connection and a transfer of energy occurs. Human connections are not just these small instances with strangers. Its also about the human connection that occurs when befriending a stranger. One of the reasons I love being a Washingtonian is that this city is a microcosm of everything the world has to offer. I don’t need to get on a plane and cross an ocean to experience the power of human connection.

Everyday I make sure to “travel” to some place new. So how do I travel in this city that is little more than 63 square miles? Two of my favorite past times, that are naturally a part of my daily life, are 1) doing my grocery, and 2) taking a taxi cab at least once a week. I know what you are wondering… what am I thinking? Let me tell you a story from my trip to the grocery store last week, since it really reflects a similar “travel” opportunity I find in my daily routine. It was Saturday morning and I made my weekly rounds running errands around town. Next stop was grocery shopping I went through the store as I do every couple of weeks, selecting the freshest in-season veggies and fruits along with all the staples. Then at check-out (this is often the fun part) I went through the line and then it was my turn to ring-up my groceries. I had a lot of groceries this time, which meant a good 15 minutes with the clerk. What better way to spend the 15 minutes at the grocery store check-out than engaged in good conversation? His name was Vlad (short for Vladimir), he was lean young man of African decent, and certainly not Russian as his name may have suggested. Vlad had some stories to tell and I was listening. He was a hard working young man, studying electrical engineering at a near-by community college, working part time at the grocery store, and living with his Father and a few other people in an apartment. And he was also very committed to environmental sustainability. His first change making endeavor was trying to get his Father and roommates to recycle. And a struggle it was for him to change the way they all live. But he was committed and wasn’t going to give it up. His dreams didn’t stop there. He was hoping to use his education in electrical engineering on wind energy development. Getting to know Vlad was a refreshing moment in life. He reminded me how much we can have in common with people all around us from different walks of life. It was a simple every day, yet powerful, connection. And I hope that our exchange somehow gave him an extra drop of inspiration or planted a new idea.

Hopefully now you can see what I mean about these moments of interaction with strangers and how the power of human connection can be found in daily life, through trips across this 63 square mile area I call home. When venturing across borders these simple moments of human connection bring us closer to knowing what it really means in that there is only one race, the human race. And no matter how different we see the world, and how we live our lives, we are still so deeply connected to one another in the humblest of ways. As for the weekly taxi cabs… I’ll leave it up to your imagination and share more in a future blog.

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