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The courage to maintain human connection

Human connection. It’s a struggle to know where to start isn’t it?

Take a look around at the bigger movements in this world. You see posturing and the language of conflict and opposing perspectives that could lead to World War 3 and you ask yourself, “How can I possibly be instrumental or do anything about this?” It’s so easy to stare open mouthed, to observe the apparent madness of it all and then retreat to our own world – the world we know – and in that moment we risk denying our power or giving up.

We all need human connection

I read a US research project followed a group of men who in younger years talked about fame, power, money as markers of success. And in later years one thing stood out – it was the presence of connection, a deep relationship that made the difference.

And we need that as humans – connection. It’s the foundation for trust, for collaboration for our ability to work and create things together…. to achieve results which surprise us because we didn’t know they were possible.

We feel the need and we yearn to feel connected and belong.

Connection is not as easy as it sounds

The challenge is that when it gets tricky (with strong opinions, ideologies, disagreement and conflict), it’s so easy to retreat into our own perspective, our judgments, our own need to be right. It’s a form of protection which disconnects us and leads to adversarial interactions.

What’s needed?

Confidence, permission and encouragement (which contains the word courage by the way). It takes us believing that inside every moment of struggle; of misunderstanding and disagreement there is a possible way through.
If we can stay open hearted and sit with the discomfort of not knowing how.

“Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase,  just take the first step.”  (Martin Luther King jr.)

What is your “first step” to maintaining a human connection with those who you may disagree with? What are your practices or behaviours that you put into action that give you courage to take that “first step”?

Share your experience by writing a short note in the comments below – let’s build a library of practices together.

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