I posted this on Facebook tonight, with a comment of, “#familyresemblance, my dad’s oldest brother and my youngest son.” Within seconds I had a bunch of “likes” and “loves” (and a “wow”), many of them from people whom I rarely interact with on Facebook. What caught people’s attention? Not how handsome these young men are, but the #story. Images of two young men frozen in time at similar ages, separated by nearly 80 years, yet genetically entangled enough to closely resemble each other. One who obviously spent time in the military. The other, we have no idea (yet) of he present or future, but we would like to know more. Our stories are what bind us together as humankind.
A few days ago, I was checking out at the grocery store. The clerk made a silence-filling comment we have all heard many times, about yearning for the end of her shift so she could go home. Oftentimes, I would have smiled and nodded or similarly acknowledged her comment without engaging. Instead, I responded, asked her more about her work day, and by the time we finished conversing, I knew a ton, not only about her work day but her family life, her dog, and where she lived. Why was she so open? Maybe I was the first person in the day who had actually tried to create a connection? Who showed an interest in her beyond being the person scanning items and telling me the total?
My #oneword for 2022 is #truthful, and one way I can be more truthful is by being present, being curious, actively engaging with others, reinforcing the importance of their stories.