Posted on Friday, December 19, 2008

It is in our nature as human beings to forge and seek out connections with others. Whether it is long lasting or fleeting, the desire to form bonds with others is an essential component of our make up. To connect with someone, on any level, allows us to feel real and gives meaning to the hours we keep. Everyone has something to offer. Even if you have to dig a little deeper to discover what that is. To connect with someone enables you to see life through their eyes. You open new windows of perception and for the briefest of moments, you may even get a glimpse of your place within the whole.

I have just recently made a new connection in this city. What could have remained a strictly two-dimensional exchange has now eloped into something of worth. Strangers weave in and out of my day in countless numbers. The guy that operates the tram on my way to work; the lady that makes me a juice in the morning; the couple that live across the hall from me; the young boy who works in the salon across the road from me; the old man that asks for change on Acland Street; the guy that makes me a coffee before each shift... I interact with these people through a mutual exchange of needs and wants, and yet I know nothing about them. I see them more often then I see my family and close friends, but due to some bizarre social construct, remaining anonymous is held in higher regard than making the effort to connect. These people are not cardboard cutouts. They all have a role to play. Behind the perceived two-dimensions is a person with a story to tell. Inside the private life of every stranger are passions, doubts, love, love lost, lust, longing, indecision, discontentment, plans, goals, hopes, ambitions, scars, broken hearts and rusty parts.

The need to connect has never been greater in today’s cyberspace race. Sites such as Facebook and Myspace have opened the floodgates to forming new connections. However, in an online environment such as these two sites, the quality of connection is questionable. Since when does social networking overshadow real friendship? Why do people add me as a ‘friend’ but never choose to connect with me in the real world? These sites nurture quantity over quality. Seeking out new ‘friends’ via this medium is nothing more than a numbers game. You don’t even really know who is dealing the cards.

So here’s a new philosophy….When you intersect: connect. Take time to consider that the person you are interacting with is exactly that, a person. Just like you and just like me. Blur the lines of social normality and walk away from that exchange with something real. Add that third or even fourth dimension to a perfect stranger. See the fire in their eyes when they speak of the things they love. Watch for the moment when they realise they have just shared something so intimate with you, a complete stranger. This moment is golden. This is the moment where you see with perfect vision, the thread that connects us all.

Nothing else matters, except for the moments we keep.

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