At 6 Feet Apart Humanity Has Never Been Closer

Maybe you’ve noticed it, too? These lighter pockets of air, occupying the tiny spaces in between the general heaviness. Although small, they are mighty and all consuming, filled with moments of tenderness and ease. 

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Photo by Everton Vila on Unsplash

They manifest in all sorts of different forms, and I’ve experienced them daily. Whether it’s an explosive type of empathy that seems to come out of nowhere, a deep seated desire to say hello when I see a stranger on the street, or the comforting eyes that glisten with solidarity when I navigate the grocery store. 

Our wants and needs have become somewhat involuntary as we schedule calls, FaceTimes, Skype and Zoom dates, more liberally than we ever have before. Statuses, likes, and comments on Facebook and Instagram, although trivial for some people, have become more generous and bold, as we try to reach out – all in the name of connection. 

For myself, I’ve had dialogue with people I haven’t spoken to in years, I’ve reminisced while looking through old photo albums, and I’ve been thankful and grateful for all the moments I’ve had, including the ones I took for granted. Because when something is taken away from you, you tend to value it more – but I know that’s not the only reason for our new-found closeness. 

Usually, the people we know and love, are all constantly experiencing different stages and moments within their own lives – college, career, travel, marriage, divorce, kids, retirement, happiness, depression, anxiety, love, loneliness – and because of this, even when we empathize and listen, there’s still this small degree of oversight where we tend to miss each other. 

It’s common for people to become frustrated or angry as they try to seek validation and understanding, and often as a result, they end up closing off. But right now, we are all struggling together and fighting the same fight. We are right here, with each other, on nearly all aspects and levels. And because of that, something incredibly beautiful has emerged. 

We are opening up like we have never done before. Our vulnerabilities are rising to the surface, and as such, we are exposing more of ourselves and more of our depths to one another – because it feels safe to do so. There is a sense of security and reassurance that is settling in, as we begin to recognize that we will be validated and understood. 

More and more of these lighter pockets of air are being brewed up by all these new thoughts, truths, feelings and emotions, and within the general heaviness, it has started to feel a lot lighter. The perfect recipe has been created and it’s one that will ultimately bring humanity closer together than its ever been before. 

And whenever we come together, in any aspect of the word, there is a resulting sense of power and strength. Our cries are more cathartic, our laughs are more contagious, our screams are more substantial and our worries are more secure, because we experience them together. 

And never before in our lifetime have we been listening to each other more – sitting attentively, waiting to absorb. Our deep breaths and our strong words more impactful than ever, and what we say, how we say it and when we say it, more monumental. 

Right now, the landscape is starting to shift, and the gap is beginning to close. We are starting to see each other and really hear each other, maybe even for the first time ever, and everything is becoming just close enough so that we can reach out and hold each others hands. And it feels surreal, really it does, and damn good, because I for one have been waiting a really long time for it. 

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