• Jeremy Konopka

Shared Humanity

A few moments come to mind when I think about that universal feeling of shared humanity. When it is in the air. When you just feel unified with those around you.

One is back in March, right after the Pandemic arrived in NYC. We were not wearing masks yet and I was headed to work around 6:30AM on the subway. A child had a sneeze attack and it went on for what felt like forever. I locked eyes with almost everyone on the subway car and we all broke from our stoic exteriors into smirks and fits of laughter. It was incredible.

These moments of shared humanity include massive amounts of vulnerability. We see each other and we share ourselves.

Another example is when you arrive in a Zoom full of people you don't know. It may be the Zoom itself. It may be a breakout room. Cue that deer in headlights smile and fake tinkering with your computer. And you look up, and see that you are not alone in your awkward fidgeting.

On that Zoom screen, we share energy and space, no matter where we are in the World.

On that subway car, we synchronized with one another in our fear, stress, anxiety, annoyance, and our 'WTF' moment.

These are moments in time that we are bound together and unified.

I'm going to breathe them in, more often, and find them wherever I can. I know they are everywhere if we dare to open our eyes and hearts.

This may mean I need to turn my airpods down a bit or look up from my phone in the grocery line... fine! I will do it because that humanity is what I need more of in my life. I think we all do.

And to those fellow humans in the subway car with me, I still think about you and LOL when people sneeze near me. Virus particles are not funny but the 'here we all are together FML' mentality brings joy to my stress.

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