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  1. Elle

    With ‘strangers’…..Connecting, real & honest for however long we are meant to know each other.
    With ‘loved ones’…..same.

    10 months ago
  2. Malag

    That everyone is trying to do their best in getting through the day

    10 months ago
  3. MEG

    Sharing a quote by Thomas Merton which I find I can relate to how I am touched in my encounters with both strangers and loved ones …
    in Oneness … 🙏❤️
    “ The whole idea of compassion is based on a keen awareness of the interdependence of all (these) living beings, which are all part of one another, and all involved in one another. “
    – Thomas Merton

    10 months ago
  4. mam_gigi

    I think I am touched by a willingness to listen, a desire to understand, and a sense of shared experience. They offer a lot patience and insight.

    10 months ago
  5. John

    In both cases I find that I am responsible for the experience, in that Wherever I may be emotionally, mentally and physically will inevitably influence the moment. I must be vigilant and open to the person regardless. Tough work.

    10 months ago
  6. Linda

    Eye contact and an unexpected smile from a stranger always make me happy. The same goes for contact with loved ones–it is vital to really see them and honor them every day.

    10 months ago
  7. KC

    Presence. Attentiveness. Genuine expressions of vulnerability, humour, aliveness, attention and care …

    10 months ago
  8. Holly in Ohio

    Kindness, interest.

    This question got me to reflect upon what I respond to, but also shows me how to behave towards others.

    10 months ago
  9. P

    Unexpected kindness. I never take it for granted…even from family. People can surprise you in pleasant ways. It touches me to receive someones generosity and thoughtfulness and it especially touches me when it involves sacrifice, either through resources or time. It encourages me to find ways to express kindness to others. You might never know how much it will mean to them.

    10 months ago
  10. Maurice Frank

    Remembering that every friend was once a stranger, and this stranger can become a friend too.

    10 months ago
    1. Michele

      That is so true and makes perfect sense

      10 months ago
  11. Howie Geib

    When meeting strangers (in fact tonight I am going to an event where I know very few people) I am often touched by a sense of embarrassment. An awkwardness in the sense of not really sure what my place is, where I fit. I do have social confidence, and an ability to convey friendliness, it’s more this twinge of doubt. Am I supposed to be someplace else? With family it is more like listening for the rhythm and then getting into step. Or (for the surfers out there!) sitting on the board looking out to the horizon and reading the waves, waiting for the right one to ride. So I suppose rather than a sense of embarrassment it is a knowing that I belong and falling into line. With strangers I find I can surprise. They do not expect me to be who I am. With family I avoid surprises, which as a tribe we generally abhor.

    10 months ago
  12. Sae

    Walking down the street or in the store and exchanging a soft genuine smile with eye contact with a stranger touches me. It reminds me that in a world of intense craziness we can still be still, venerable, and present in the moment. With loved ones, I feel touched when we are enjoying each others company in a way that comes natural and easy. There is an exchange of laughing, smiling, and joy weather we are eating a meal, watching a show, or going on an extravaganza.

    10 months ago
    1. Howie Geib

      ‘going onto an extravaganza’…how alluring! Sounds like running away with the circus! Lovely image!

      10 months ago
  13. sparrow

    . . . their vulnerability,
    whether they be strangers or loved ones.
    Someone I loved
    pointed out to me many years ago,
    that everyone has a ‘person spot’ . . .
    it’s on the temple of the face.
    That is where our vulnerability can be seen.
    Vulnerability in others
    inspires a tenderness in me.
    Vulnerability in myself
    does too . . .

    10 months ago
    1. Barb C

      I love this. Thank you for sharing. With so much anger in the world it can be hard to remember that it arises from fear, which is vulnerability.

      10 months ago
  14. Javier Visionquest

    Everything and everyone has become so polarized now that the internet is in everyone’s pocket: A worldview tailored to each individual and the “facts” to support it. I don’t know why, but most everyone seems to have to have this newer, falser layer of identity on display everywhere they go and, for whatever reason, it’s everyone else’s job to affirm these false identities for them or risk interminable petty debates, or becoming alienated and “other”. None of these myriad viewpoints, the fears and concerns behind them, historically, have ever come to manifest but the emotionally charged divisions are more than obvious — it doesn’t seem to bother most. It’s as if the flesh and blood neighbors who won’t tolerate artifice are disposable in lieu of a thread of disembodied opinions that support comfortable illusions. And this is not only true of my interactions with strangers (that I attempt to keep to the bare minimum, these days). At some point I have to deal with loved ones and I’ve been limiting contact with some among them who want to make even breakfast political.

    It’s not vaccines, or 5G and nanotechnology, or an occulted unelected faction of our government eating babies and appropriating our taxes to fund chemtrails of celery juice and viruses sprayed from UFO’s over the flat earth by our transgendered lizard overlords that frighten me. It’s how these absurd concepts have come to separate people from each other.

    10 months ago
    1. Charlie T

      I love your description of the current state of affairs and sometimes it makes me so angry. Yes, things are crazy right now, but not everyone and everything. In the crowd of people there are others with there eyes open and attempting to see clearly and seeking connections. If you can connect with this person, who is grounded, who listens, who has something to impart on you, it helps make up for all the fear and loathing that comes with this “smart” device in our pockets. This thing can be used for love and connection. It’s a choice. Some people just don’t realize this yet.

      10 months ago
      1. Javier Visionquest

        Thank you, Charlie. I never got angry. People are vital to my well-being. Many of the wilder views were from many of my regular customers when I worked the front end of a high-volume organic grocery and nothing seems more politicized than food. But it’s also chief among the reasons I chose, no, HAD TO leave. I could no longer tacitly support some of the naked stupidity — by that I mean fear — that some of my favorite people would bring with them through my aisle and it’s not the place or time for a heated debate about how “Big Pharma gave me diabetes”. The internet is only a tool; a supporting bond in the hands of open hearts, and a weapon in the hands of fearful minds.

        10 months ago
  15. Laura

    The same thing strikes me with both strangers and family — we are all remarkably similar and yet vastly different at the same time.

    10 months ago
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