Have you tried finding a connection between yourself and each of the people that cross your path during the day? It is interesting to contemplate. At this point, some people may jump to the concept of six-degrees of separation. However, what I have in mind is a bit different.
Zero-Degrees of Separation
I contend that there is some type of connection between each person and every other person – no matter how completely different the two people are. These connections are sometimes obvious. For instance, two people might have the same educational background, be from the same town, or have the same religious beliefs. Other times, it is more of a challenge to find the connection.
Recently, I was considering my connection to various public political figures. For some of them, I could easily see a connection, since I knew we shared a similar opinion on a particular topic. For others, finding the connection was a bit more challenging. I started thinking about the person’s personality, values, background, interests, and experiences compared to my own.
Using this scope, I was able to identify at least one “connection” between the person and myself. I am sure there are many more connections I could make with each person if I got to know them.
It is not always easy to find connections between yourself and others, especially if you really don’t want to see it. Most of us don’t have a strong desire to find a connection between ourselves and Jack the Ripper or Al Capone. Still, if we took the time to look, we would find a connection. Similarly, we would find a connection with people who live in different parts of the world, have different religions, or live in very different circumstances.
Although I would challenge you to find a connection to even the seemingly most different person, I would also caution you to pay attention to the authenticity of the connection. For example, political candidates may state an opinion that aligns well with your own perspective. You should consider that connection carefully.
First, look at your own opinion and make sure it is something you truly own. Often the opinions we have are those that we believe we should have rather than our true beliefs. Second, consider the same for the candidate. Is their stated opinion really their opinion and the direction they will take if faced with questions on the topic or is it simply what they believe people want to hear. You may even find that you have a connection with someone who states a different opinion than yours because their underlying viewpoint and resulting actions may actually match your perspective.
It is important not to be drawn in by someone’s outward statements if they are not authentic. The Benders are infamous for inviting people into their home for a nice meal, killing them, and dumping them in a field. I am sure that many of their victims initially felt a connection to them believing they were nice folks that were providing a meal to a weary traveler. Yet, in their case, it was all a scheme to get the victims’ valuables.
Therefore, it is important to remember that connections must be authentic. When you consider public personalities or people that cross your path, make sure to look for the connection. They may be on a different path than you, but challenge yourself to find something you authentically have in common. Just be diligent and pay attention so you don’t become a victim of the person behind the curtain.