Friday, September 23, 2011
People need people
Besides the mom and daughter, none of these people or dogs knew each other. Still, everyone stopped, chatted, watched the dogs interact. People are so sweet! (So are dogs!)
We humans are social animals, we need friends, families, communities. There are people who can live off the grid, grow all their own food and amuse themselves, so I can't literally say we need others in order to survive, but we DO need others for our well being.
Historically and biologically, we are social predators who hunt, farm, worship, eat and sleep together, live in group houses, huts, long houses and tipis. Most of us spend large parts of every day in each other's company.
I love phrases like, I'm here for you and I've got your back. Our languages include many words and phrases that describe our instinctual need to spend time with others of our own kind. Human philosophies incorporate interrelatedness as if it were a law of nature, which I guess maybe it is.
People can be a pain in the ass, yes? I say yes - even those whom I love beyond all reason. But even when they annoy me, and even though I am as introverted as it is possible to be (which means that socializing is physically exhausting), I would never let those two facts keep me away from other people.
We have flaws as a species, but mostly we are quite optimistic and adorable. Most of us mean well though we do make our share of mistakes. It's tempting to think of hiding far away from humanity. But the thing is, those who don't connect with others always become very strange, even if they are utterly self sufficient.
Break bread with someone today, yes? Have a conversation, ask questions and listen carefully to the answers, learn something new. Tolerate someone who holds different values than you do. Have a laugh, tell a secret, give someone the benefit of the doubt.
I am absolutely certain that relating to others of our species is healing. Yes? I say yes. I have a day of relating to clients ahead of me, very much looking forward to that. Shalom.