After eleven months into the new decade, most of us would agree on one thing – our time ‘online’ has increased manifold compared to pre-pandemic days. We have glared into brightly lit screens to work, study, grocery-shop, learn Dhamma and even attend retreats. With patience, we distanced ourselves socially as needed to help break the chain of Covid-19 infections, but how do we ensure that we do not disconnect ourselves from our humanity?
Our connection with others makes us humane and helps us develop certain virtues such as patience, compassion, loving-kindness and gratitude. We cultivate these virtues when we are mindful of our thoughts, actions and speech, as well as when we reflect on our interactions with others. We benefit from the uniqueness of every single person when we take the opportunity to learn and reflect on the multitude of feelings which arise due to our dissimilarities.
To connect with people online or in person, be genuinely curious about their well-being. Be interested to know how they are doing and listen attentively as they respond. Many people can relieve their stress by talking about it or just by knowing someone else cares. Connection happens when our care and concern for others surfaces, and we relate to what they are going through. This is what makes us humane.