This Sparks Joy — Human Connection

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By — Xandrine Foxfire

Photo curtesy — Austin Kehmeier

I‘ve been focusing a lot on retail therapy lately. The immediate gratification that comes with buying an object is horribly cathartic. This focus on retail, however, has clouded my mind a little bit. I have not been focusing or appreciating one very big thing that sparks the utmost joy: human connection. 

There are a million pieces of us scattered among people’s memories. We are loved by people we may not even be familiar with. Every person you come in contact with, you affect in some way. Maybe you said “Howdy!” at a grocery store instead of “Hello.” and it made the cashier so happy they almost forgot to ask if you were paying with cash, credit, or debit. Maybe you smiled at a child while they were in a new and intimidating area, and they internalized that and decided it wasn’t so scary after all. Maybe you made a comment that made your best friend laugh, and they went on to tell their family and it made them laugh too. There are so many tiny things we do that makes being alive feel less lonely.

Do you have a moment like that? I bet you do. We’ve all been on the receiving end of someone’s ecstasy. It’s exhilarating. The feeling is made even better when there’s regular contact involved. Maybe it’s an acquaintance that you think highly of, and whenever they see you and make small talk it feels like you’re walking on air. Maybe it’s a best friend, and whenever you see a text notification from them you can’t help but grin. Maybe it’s a neighbor, or the cashier at a place you frequent often asking about your family. There is so much quiet care in most human interactions. A million and one ways to care about the people you interact with daily. 

Being alive sparks joy. Touching people’s lives sparks joy. Human connection sparks joy. 

Remind a pal that you care about them today. Wave at someone. Compliment a stranger on your walk. Being loved is being known.