I volunteered at an Eye Camp in India where I met another woman, also volunteering. She spoke Marathi. I spoke English. We could only speak to each other through a translator. But it didn’t matter.
We connected and when the eye camp was over, she invited me to her home for tea.
Her name was Jijabai and her home was a hut, built with sticks. We sat on a floor made of cow-dung. Her daughter brought the water for the tea from the village well in a pot on her head.
Jijabai taught me a valuable lesson. Outwardly we appeared different. Inwardly we were the same.
She was a lot like my friends here in the States. She loved her children and was proud of her daughter because she could carry two pots on her head. (And believe me, that is TOUGH. I tried one pot and thought it was going to break my neck.)
Today, when I feel lonely or separate from others, I remember Jijabai and her well. The well has been in that village for centuries never drying up.
When we feel alone or isolated, it is not because our connection to other people has dried up. It is because (like the well) we have lost the means to reach its waters.
We address this in our leadership training because in the tech world, the work is exciting, but there are a lot of people feeling alone. It helps when they re-connect to the whole, realizing their own place in the universe.
When you are feeling separate or isolated, do you have a method for staying connected?