Connection is above all.
We are not islands. We are humans and we need people. I say this as someone who prefers to spend her Sundays alone to rest and create. But that’s such a literal idea… When I say “connection,” I mean not just that we are around people, but connected — and deeply. Do we connect to the cashier at the store? Do you see a server before you at the restaurant or do you look them in the eyes, see their eye color, note their name and speak with them, not at them? I was checking out at Dollar General yesterday and the cashier looked at me and said, “Darn it, ok, you can put your stuff down, but someone else is going to have to switch with me and check you out.”
Listen to the Fearless 5 Podcast here.
Now if you aren’t connecting, you’re going to huff and puff, get mad, complain it’s taking too long.. right? But if you are empathetically connected to that other human being, you try to slow it down a little. Don’t think of YOURSELF. Which is what I did. I looked at her and said, “Hey, you do what you have to do.” Because really, who cares? She’s going to do her job and I’m going to buy my $20 worth of stuff. The lady behind me had put her box of Swiffers down and gave up already. The other lady behind me just wanted to interrupt because she was looking for corn chips that don’t cost $4. This turned into some laughs and banter between us as the cashier actually checked me out, told me about how she’d be in trouble now and hadn’t even counted her drawer — and simultaneously yelled at corn chip lady to help her find those non-$4 chips.
Now I could have gone through that entire transaction without a laugh or the connection between the other women. But I got to share a laugh. And dammit, I had a helluva week. I needed that laugh and I was damn grateful for it. I was even more grateful to not be frustrated about things I couldn’t control — like a long, backed up line, a cashier who didn’t want to help me (which wasn’t even about me), or the corn chip lady interrupting — this making MY transaction take longer. But if I take out the “MY,” I take out the ego. I may even notice I’m not the only person in line…