A week ago my nephew was born and the emotions I felt were raw and powerful. It’s one of those things you don’t really relate with when people speak about until you hold the newborn in your arms for the first time. I may or may not have shrieked like a school girl when the baby was first placed in my arms. Not to worry though, that uncontrolled emotional release of excitement and awe was quickly stilt as I handed back the child to my sister and began to talk about football in hopes of holding back the tears. “This is amazing”, I thought to myself. A single fertilized egg has now transformed itself into a life-form that I will forever be connected with.
After shaking myself free from the explosive emotions I decided it was a good time to go walk off some off that sweet oxytocin I had just been flushed with and I began exploring the sterile hospital hallways until I came across made a large inviting room with large comfy chairs. Yes, you guessed it, the newborn family waiting room. Here I was greeted by a tall brawny man with a friendly smile and a sincere care for well-being today. Now being the normal guy I am, I quickly scan the room and asses this pleasant stranger. This robot like habit of scanning every stranger, making threat assessments is far too automatic.
By his appearance and my quick rash judgement I might be easily presumable that he worked in the trades. Not that I am following that trends of stereotypes, but his beat up man hands with matching soiled finger nails were a strong leading indicator. He sat next to his beautiful newborn daughter with a twinkle in his eye and began to spark up a conversation about my experience thus far as an uncle. I was taken back at first by the connection. On a typical day our paths may have crossed, but I highly doubt we would have stopped to acknowledge each with such heartfelt presence. I don’t know about you but after years and years of being told not to talk to strangers, I carry my vulnerabilities rather close when speaking with people for the first time. But for some reason our emotional walls were totally exposed, a sense of compassion filled the air and we were off to the races in deep conversation about life.
Our conversation continued for a solid twenty minutes before something incredible happened. Another man entered with his child and greeted us in the same caring fashion. It’s like we had all entered this safe zone where we could just be ourselves and speak to each other with no fear. Now, if we are going to continue with stereotypes and rash judgements strictly based on appearance “thug passion” may have entered my mind when I first laid my eyes on him. I am not passing any negative connotations along with this suggestive description, but hope to only paint a simple picture that we all clearly presented ourselves differently to the world. I of course probably came across to them as a perfect candidate for a GAP commercial, but hey, nobody’s perfect, right?
The three of us continued to relate on an uninhibited level. We established a connection with one another without any care of the material possessions we owned, the cars we drove, or the occupations we held. It was just a pure connection with one another that I wish I could experience more frequently in life. This experience nurtured my soul in a way that only poetic devices could be used to express. I left the hospital on a high, not from now being an uncle but rather due to the mesmerizing intimate dialogue that took place between three complete strangers. We all gathered on that day to appreciate a newborns life, but I left whole new concept to live my own life by.
I was left in deep thought revolving around this interaction with strangers, and sense of sadness filled my heart as I questioned why I needed to be in a hospital waiting room to appreciate my fellow man. Imagine if you will waking up every day, realizing we all are cut from the same fabric, and treat people with the same accordance. Imagine living in a world where strangers are treated with the same concern we give a long time friend. It sounds like a fairytale concept from a big picture point of view but I think the application of it all could be rather straight forward. It could be as easy as starting to connect with people you see regularly but never stop and fully acknowledge. For instance, the parking lady you see every day, the Starbucks barista that makes your daily latte, or that gay you seem to always cross paths with at lunch time, always passing each other with a curious smile but never have you stopped to really say hello.
All we really want is to feel acknowledged and connected, so why do we make it so difficult for each other to fulfil these simple needs? I don’t know about you, but I sure could use some more smiles during my day. Who better to start with than those we see every day but chose to keep at arm’s length distance? It might just change your whole life!
If it takes a village to raise a child, why would that same village turn its back on that child once it becomes an adult?