After talking diagnosis and treatment, we delved deeper, this new friend and I, into families and pasts, through love and pain. Laughing and crying together, we seemed more old comrades than strangers. It wasn't until I was on my way home that I realized that though we shared so much of ourselves with each other, we never exchanged names.
These encounters happen quite often in my life. Each time, I'm reminded of the thread that connects us to each other - the thing inside you that calls out to that thing inside me, pulling us toward each other. Sometimes the thread's tenuous grasp leads only to a smile or a nod, other times it winds itself around our hearts, joining them for life, or for a life-altering moment.
At times it's difficult to remember this connection - when someone cuts us off, says something to upset us, or simply doesn't acknowledge our existence. But it's just at these times when we need to remember the most. We are all connected - in our joy and love as well as our haste and anger. As much as we would like others to be understanding when we make mistakes or act out of negativity, we need to be understanding of others.
You never know what someone is going through or the motives behind their actions. The idiot who whizzed by you on the highway could be on the way to the birth of his daughter or the death of his mother. The woman purchasing twenty-one things in the twelve items or fewer lane could be functioning on little sleep and huge stress due to caring for a sick child. The friend who ignores your calls and texts could be so depressed she can't bring herself to communicate with anyone and could use love and care, not frustration and unkind words.
Remember and embrace human connection, no matter what the circumstance or how tenuous the thread. Then, maybe, the world will be a better place.