You’re in a very small town on a very small island, miles from the city.
Miles from any city.
The sun’s not out, but you decide to take a walk anyway. It’s down a country lane, flanked either side by brambles and you stop for a minute to pick some blackberries.
You carry on. Approaching you is a group of hikers, sticks-and-all, hurriedly making their way across the island. As you pass them by, not only are they looking at you, but it seems they wish to verbally convey a formal expression of goodwill, in the way of ‘Good morning’. Taken aback, you mumble a barely coherent version of the original, and continue on your way.
Further along your walk, an older gentleman slowly passes you by in a car. A car so old it was no doubt manufactured before he was. He tips his hat, waves and carries on.
All across this small island you start to notice something peculiar. You’re not relegated to second place behind a phone screen. And you’re finding it contagious. You start taking the lead, and greeting others first. Conversations start, and you feel great about it. It makes you feel… more human.
It’s called human interaction, and in some parts of the world it’s still as strong as ever. But in many cities, including London and right here in Sydney, the mere thought of greeting another commuter sends chills down many a spine.
The number of people in a village shouldn’t determine polite behaviour. Sharing the homo sapiens tag should be more than enough.
Say Good Morning, for we need growth and social formation. Say Hello! as we need to sustain life as social beings. Smile at a passer-by, for it’s more important than ever that we bridge differences with others, regardless of who they are, where they live, and whether they happen to fall into your friendship group.
According to Maslow’s Hierachy of Needs, humans need love and the sense of belonging right after the need for personal safety. This shows how important human interaction is for humans to survive.
Everything is connected. It’s the only reason this world came to exist. Atoms bond with each other to form large objects, to serve a greater purpose. It’s the same with humans. We cannot survive if we stand alone. Human interaction is what builds civilisation and creates history.
So, (after reading this of course) put your phone down, and make a real effort with someone. You never know, they might really need it.