I don’t know if you watched FRIENDS, but for my age group, it was a staple of our weekly TV lineup. The iconic group of friends- living in the same building, drinking coffee together, sharing life together. Wow. Isn’t that what we all long for? Friends. Human connection? I, like many of you and many across the country, was deeply saddened to hear of Matthew Perry’s passing over the weekend. I was making dinner Saturday night when my husband Bradley hollered to me from the couch, “Matthew Perry died”??? I shouted, ” NO!!!!!!!!” And I think I dropped the spaghetti sauce spatula! Some of you may have had the same reaction.
This got me thinking about human connection and the absolute heaviness of our society these days. I heard a speaker say months ago, that our hearts and minds were not made to hear and absorb so much stress and trauma as we do these days. EVEN IF you have found a way to avoid the news cycle, you still hear about all the tragedies happening every day or every week in your community, state, country, and yes, even abroad. We literally cannot escape it. The minute-by-minute devastations across the globe are thrust into our purview every single day. This person was shot in Minnesota. That mass shooting in Maine. That carjacking in Knightdale. That 158-car pileup in Louisiana. The list goes on.
I agree, humanity was never supposed to know about every single tragedy happening minute by minute. And yet these nifty devices in our hands alert us to those daily. Wow. And we wonder why our clients, our neighbors, our family members, and even ourselves feel overly anxious, edgy, and uncertain.
I think the only answer to managing all that angst is a HUMAN connection. Surely, we have our differences: lived experience, religion, politics, the way we parent, how we love, etc. But we are all created the same. All are created equal. Which means a lot in how ALIKE we humans really are. I believe we must strive now more than possibly ever, to connect with other humans intentionally and with fierce love. Fierce grace even. It’s so easy for us to hole up in our small bubbles with OUR people and not engage with others who might appear different than us. That’s easy. That’s maybe comforting. But it’s not truly connecting. We have got to reach across the “table” and connect. I think it’s the only way to surf this tide that feels like it’s crushing humanity.
The “Friends” gathered daily to sip coffee, tell jokes, and share life together. Maybe we can replicate that somehow in our communities, but on a larger scale. Connect. Fill up your cup. Fill up someone else’s.