Weekly Wisdom are nuggets of learning. They help us live more mindfully, and make conscious efforts in everyday life to choose happiness and purpose in small but meaningful ways.

This week’s wisdom that came from my airport experience earlier in the week – one that has become all too common. Everywhere I looked, I saw people on their phones, even the ones who were travelling as couples and families.

Of course there are times we need to use technology. A mother may need to text her child. Someone may need to make plans for arrival, or set up meetings. There could be people dealing with emergencies.

But for the most part, the screens that I could see reflected back Facebook pages and chats, and impatient fingers mindlessly tapping on apps or scrolling down feeds with blank faces. Even I found myself turning to my phone to appear occupied.

But then I made a conscious effort to turn to the people around me. I met an energetic young woman who told me the ins and outs of her entrepreneurial venture. I met a kind hearted Jordanian lady who told me about her struggles at home and of trying to bring some sanity in her children’s lives. I met an innocent Tanzanian woman who was migrating for the first time, and who didn’t speak a word of English. We communicated in gestures and laughter, she told me how scared she was of the flight, and I tried to help her keep her calm through unexpected turbulence.

Honestly, I felt human in an experience that’s mostly robotic, as we’re shoved in buses, buckled in seats, and spend the majority of our time in lines and artificial interaction.

For what my soul experienced was the richness of humanity around me, the mystery of the other, the wonder of lives unvisited. And what my body likely experienced was the natural strengthening of the heart that comes from real connection with real people. 

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From our very first mother–infant bond, we experience relationships in a primarily physical way. We look into each other’s eyes, we smile and laugh together, and we make soft and friendly sounds to signal love and connection.

Through these signs and signals that go back millenia, we come to know each other and by knowing each other we come to know ourselves.

[Tweet “Through physical connection that goes back millennia, we come to know each other and by knowing each other we come to know ourselves.”] This week, make a conscious effort to connect compassionately with others

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