“I do believe in an everyday sort of magic — the inexplicable connectedness we sometimes experience with places, people, works of art and the like; the eerie appropriateness of moments of synchronicity; the whispered voice, the hidden presence, when we think we’re alone.”
― Charles de Lint
I had an interesting experience recently while driving on interstate 80. It was a cool sunny Sunday afternoon. I am cruising in the middle lane and notice two men on motorcycles riding on my right. I could not help but notice how much they appeared to be enjoying their ride together. They seemed in a world unto themselves, riding effortlessly in a smooth, relaxed, synchronized rhythm.
It was easy to see that these guys loved their bikes, and they enjoyed riding. Seeing this got me thinking about connectedness. This shared love of bikes is something that connects them.
The experience reminded me that no matter what your interest, there are others who share that same interest, and there are connected communities that develop around those shared interests.
Some people are passionate about technology, some about video games, others love plants and gardening, bird watching, cars, books, sewing, art, you get the picture. The list is endless. There are connected communities of many interests all over the world. It does not matter what topic you think of, there is a community of interest formed somewhere around that topic.
This brief, simple moment on the highway reminded me that connectedness is something we share as human beings. We have varied interests and passions, but what we all have in common is our connection to others who share our passions.
How we connect be it digitally, in live gatherings, or any combination of the two, is not important. That we connect is the point.
These connections often transcend ideological, political, economic or social status differences. I believe that if we took the time to talk to those who we identify as adversaries, we might find that there are interests we share and underneath it all, we are not so different after all.
If we started our relationships with others by seeking first to discover our common interest, instead of setting up camp around our differences, our world would be a much better place.
If we were to sit down and create a list of what we human beings have in common and explore the ways we connect to one another, that list would be far greater than any corresponding list of differences.
There will always be areas of disagreement, but if we begin relations on a foundation of shared interest, how we address areas of disagreement would be less confrontational. The antagonistic “us” versus “them” mentality diminishes. We see each other as fellow human beings that need to work something out and can even cordially agree to disagree yet remain connected.
I am not naïve enough to think that we would adapt this connectedness approach in mass, but I am hopeful enough that it appeals to enough people that it can make a difference in our interactions.
It requires us to think a little higher and to keep an open mind. It starts with one individual at a time. However, if we think about it, just like any other topic, there are other people interested in the idea of connectedness, so one is never alone.
So, if you’re a technology enthusiast, so am I. Let’s make a meaningful connection.