Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Human Connections

I think I have mentioned this before, but it is noteworthy enough to mention yet again. Human connections can be such a powerful thing. If you have never had a deep connection with another human being, then you are not living fully. That's what we are programmed to do - it releases endorphins that make us feel a certain euphoria, a high, if you will.
One of the reasons I love the young adult novel, The Giver, is because it explores the theme of emotions, love, and connection. Today my eighth graders took their test over the novel, and it led me to think about this. We discussed (not as much as I'd have liked) the thought of someone lacking the power of emotion. How would someone feel if they didn't really feel anything at all emotionally? What kind of life would that be? We came up with the general idea that life wouldn't be the same without certain feelings. Life, for instance, would not be the same if we as people could not feel love. In the novel, adults apply for spouses, unable to choose who they spend the rest of their lives with. They also take pills for "stirrings" - which is basically emotions, including sexual thoughts. The result is a robotic, unattached person who does not get to feel passion, empathy, butterflies in the stomach, etc. My students all said that they would hate living like that. YES!!! YES!!! YES!!! The ability to connect with someone else is vital to our being.
Now, this connection can be friendly, passionate, lustfull, or some other form. But to live life without making those intense pathways is cheating a person out of a small portion of joy and bliss.
I happen to know of some people who DO live that way. How unfortunate for them that they do not enjoy certain luxuries available to most. How pitiful of an existence that must be.
I encourage everyone to reach out, take that chance; try and make a connection with someone. It can be as simple as smiling at a passerby; shake hands and mean it with a business acquaintance; look your partner in the eye and tell him/her what they mean to you; kiss your child on the forehead; hug your pet. Life is way too short to waste moments.
I only hope that some (or even one, for that matter) of my students have learned a little life lesson from the novel we finished. There are MANY more themes that the novel presents than just human connections. I hope the themes touched my students, if only for a split second.
And if you are a person that has maybe two hours to spare, read the novel, The Giver. It makes you think.


Anonymous said...

Winking at strangers in the grocery store is my personal contribution to the Connection Project, as well as one of my favorite pastimes.

Brenda said...

I'm not a touchy feely person. Not that I don't like a hug and such, but I don't like the extended hug... and the hanging on stuff. That being said....While I was able to spend a whole week with my son, I made a point of touching him. Like rubbing his back while he was bent over in a chair at the airport....those kind of things. And most definaltly gave him a hug when he got out of the car to go to his girlfriends.

Hope is funny.... winking at strangers....