I’m going to make an educated guess and say that 99.99% of you out there have no idea who I am. And that’s okay. The same can be said for every single person out there in the world. We may have a large group of friends, or a big media presence or even be a famous person, but in terms of the sheer population numbers in the world, most people on this earth have NO IDEA who you are I or anyone am. It’s a freeing feeling, when you really think about it. In the vast scheme of the world, I am, in actual fact, fairly anonymous.
Which begs some questions.
Is this why some people are driven more than others to make their voices heard? Do some people FEEL the sheer weight of their anonymity and insignificance more than others? Are we yearning for a voice, a connection?
Is this why some people feel the need to touch as many lives as possible? Is this why some people disconnect and seek out even more solitude?
I myself am a connecter. I feel the need to connect, truly connect, with the people around me. Sure, there was a time long ago when I felt the pull to be the loudest voice in the room. I wanted attention, I wanted notice, I wanted all eyes and ears on me. But, as I’ve gotten older, something has shifted. I don’t need to be the loudest voice in the room with as many eyes and ears on me as possible. I’ve decided that there is something far more impactful and valuable that I am much more interested in. Quality.
If I know you, I want to KNOW you. I want to have that eye contact when we talk. I want to give you my attention so that I can connect in a real and visceral way. I want to make that physical connection. A strong handshake, a hand on the shoulder. A hug. I’m a hugger. And not the quick, one shoulder contact, brief “public” type hug either. I want to feel that press of flesh on flesh. I want to hold it past that second of awkwardness when the other person feels ten seconds has passed and actually feel that moment of transition in your body. That moment when your body lets go and decides that connection is okay. It’s welcome. Maybe even it was badly needed.
We live in a world where connections are hard to make. I’m guilty of it as well. My best friendships now all exist long distance and are maintained through the internet and cell phone. I can’t hug my phone. But, I can make every effort in those friendships to show my commitment to them. I can be just as plugged in with my words, typed or spoken over various mediums, as I can with my physical self.
Because, 99.99% of you have no idea who I am. But those who do are important to me. I’m not the 1%. I’m the .01%. And that makes me, and makes you, undeniably unique. If we know each other, we are a defiance of statistics and math. As unique as a snowflake. A connection that is against probability. And that makes it precious and something to cherish.
So if I know you in real life, or, if I don’t know you at all but you’ve somehow stumbled into my little corner of the vast internet, thank you. Thank you for reaching out and finding our connection. I urge you, today, on your own time and in your own way, to pay attention to your own connections. Make eye contact with someone and hold it. Let your smile fill you up and watch how the person you point it at reacts. Really mean that handshake. Really hold that hug. I promise, you will be glad you did. Because in this incredibly boundless world of ours, those little connections are the ones that make us feel like giants.