How are we connected to each other? We search for those most obvious parallels and wind up sitting in silence because we can’t think of anything or feel that there really is not much that we can talk about that is common to each other. I think part of the problem is that we feel that we don’t have many experiences or thoughts to share and our mind is clouded and we miss the most important piece…listen/see what the other person is saying/doing.
An example of this is how I was at a formal dinner event recently. I walked in and did not know anyone. I wandered around here and there. Some people were in conversations so I did not want to interrupt but I did see a lone person standing. I approached and said hello. He turned and acknowledged. Through a little conversation, we were able to determine a mutual friend because I ‘listened’ to where he had worked and asked if he knew my friend Brian…yes indeed and we spent time talking about Brian and then about online courses because it related to my friend Brian and this person’s area of experience. You see, connections are like lego blocks. You start with one and slowly you find more pieces that connect. After our brief chat, I extended my hand out to shake his and all of a sudden, my eye caught something…a Kara. A Kara is a steel bracelet worn by Sikhs as part of their faith. It is a simple circular bangle that symbolizes no starting point or end point. I wear one out of respect for my ancestors. It is common in my circle for people to wear a Kara because we are Sikhs. It is not common for a westerner to be wearing one so I had to ask. With a smile, he started to tell me about his adventures in Malaysia and then how he had taken a trek to India and the Golden Temple, the holiest of all places for Sikh’s’ and got his Kara from there and had not removed it for the last 20 years. All the while he smiled and the warmth of our conversation carried on. We parted ways but not before his acknowledging our conversation and that it meant a lot to him to be able to share his stories, memories and thoughts.
I took the time to listen and observe and find connections. We all have connections but sometimes we need to try to engage in conversations in order to understand how we are connected. Most times, the conversation might provide surface connections, other times they are quite deep. When you encounter a deep connection, you both leave with a strong relationship. The next time, listen to what someone says, register in your mind some connections and respond back. Observe the person and see what they are wearing or have with them. As the conversation deepens, you will create a bond that is much like a Kara – circular in nature as your conversations swirl around and you realize that it now continuing on and the bond strengthens like the steel that it is made of.
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