Yesterday, I spent a few hours at RIFA helping put together food packs for local grade school kids to take home if needed. I met a lot of new people who all were there to give back.
We were all people of the village gathered together there in that one spot because of our like mindedness to give back.
As we circled the table dropping mac and cheese, oatmeal, applesauce and other prepackaged donated goods into 1000 plastic bags, I listened. I spent the first while simply listening to the happiness around me and a bell went off in my thick nog: Giving is natural and it feels good while we’re all here for that same reason.
And although we can give silently or alone, there is something esoteric and irreplaceably pleasing about being in a group of like-minded people.
There is an ethereal connection to a complete room of strangers that are all there for the same purpose. This collaboration makes us feel good and comfortable inside of ourselves. We can go fishing or shop with strangers and do all sorts of things with strangers in groups because being with these like-minded people is important to us, no matter what it is. It is that instinctual human connection that we’re after and that’s what we spend a lot of our life seeking, isn’t it?
A connection to the people of the village?
Let’s face it, going to a concert is expensive, uncomfortable and inconvenient. But there, with a colesium full of strangers with like-minds of Garthology, we can all sing along with Garth onstage. We’ve made this connection with other humans just as weird as we are. We are all there because we love his music and have sang the words repeatedly while driving and working in the yard. His lyrics are imprinted in us better than our job descpritions or why we walked into the kitchen in the first place. And while there in this colesium, we and our new like-minded friends wail together, hold our cellphones up like cigarette lighters and make complete fools of ourselves because together and at that moment… we’re normal and accepted here amongst each other.
When we travel or when life has dictated, I’ll find myself in a gym full of complete strangers to me. But all of us strangers are there to better our health. So it’s a shared and unsaid bond that we all have. And caught up in our earbuds, we’re good with this quiet and sweaty comradery. We have mutual respect for those that enjoy sweating and pumping and being in awkward positions with our limbs flailed about like an accident has occurred. We connect with our people of the village.
Conversely, I’ve been in gyms where I was the only person there and it’s about as uplifting as unwrapping a concrete block at Christmas. There is no connection there.
We all seek normalcy and connections. Haven’t you been to conferences or gatherings and strike up a conversation with some total stranger that looks like you? ‘Dude, that beard rocks!’ or ‘what do you shave your head with?’ We’re all seeking normalcy and connections with the unfamiliar people of the village who share in our similarities and our ‘like minds’.
We do this even electronically. I have friends all over this globe online, good people and good friends that I hope to meet and shake their hands one day. But between now and then, we know each other online only and this electronic village of people is our gathering spot. We’ve met over web design, aquariums, Coke machines, shaving, blogging, you name it. But my electronic village of people and I are all like-minded in our online connections.
So today we get up and we join our other people of like minds in our worlds and we connect again
We connect with our village people.
And if you’re not humming the YMCA song in your mind by now, there is something wrong with you.
Because we’re all ultimately of the same village of people.
That’s the best that I can tell about it.
I relate to those folks in the retirement village. It is indeed good to be with people of like minds. No arguing over politics or religion, no need to pretend you are something you know you are not and no need to brag of your accomplishments or lack thereof. It is like a friend bringing you a coffee in the hospital.
And glad to again if needed.