Personal connection with another is perhaps the greatest, most fulfilling state we can achieve as humans. The overwhelming desire to share experiences, build empathy, trust and connection with a partner, family and friends is what drives humanity forwards. While most media push stories of violence and conflict via reality TV shows, news programs and dystopian movies, the fact remains that humans are inherently wired to connect with each other, not hate and avoid them. Connection is a human need—a biological imperative.
Many people who have divorced or faced significant struggle with another may argue the importance of connection, but studies show that married couples report a significantly higher level of happiness and fulfillment as opposed to singles. Further studies report that the higher number of strong personal connections you have with others, the happier you are in your life. Humans are social creatures. We need each other to survive. We need each other to make the free market thrive and promote overall prosperity. All humans need to contribute and give beyond themselves to achieve fulfillment. So while it may be that others can diminish our tranquility through conflict, our desire for connection overrides.
Personally, I can say without a doubt that my connection with my wife is truly what gives me the highest level of fulfillment and happiness. I am focused more on her at any given time than I am myself. Everything I do, I do with her and my children in mind. I want to see them happy. I want to see them thrive. I want to share everything with my wife (except illness). My trust and love for her gives me such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and well-being, I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is the state that people are supposed to be in the majority of their lives. So while it’s easy to look at the history of humanity and see war, conflict, hatred, prejudice and ignorance—that is nowhere near the whole story. The real story is that humans have connected and conspired with others to create something beyond themselves. Connection is creation.
We all must strive to make a personal connection with others. To share our life experiences and stories so they may live on beyond our own lives is the real story of humanity. Yes, you must take care of yourself. In fact you owe it to yourself and others to be the best you can be, but that is not what creates happiness. Being a better you is important solely for sharing with and helping others. Working on yourself is fine, but it’s only useful if you can give.
So go out and connect. Give beyond yourself. Create an unshakable bond with someone. This doesn’t mean being naive. People can and certainly will harm you in life. You must protect yourself and be guarded when necessary. Be prepared for pain. However, do not obsess about the dark qualities of interaction with others. And don’t worry if all your connections or friendships don’t work out. Not all of them will. Just focus on the future connections you will make. Focus on the love you give and others have given you. Remember above all, whatever you focus on, you find. Focus on being closer to others. It’s the only thing that will bring you true happiness.