“Do you snore?”
This is a question the character Meredith Grey (Grey’s Anatomy) asks her estranged father Thatcher. His answer to her previous question -if there was another side to the story- didn’t seem to satisfy either of them. Then she asks, “Do you snore?”. Thatcher’s delay in answering nearly ends the conversation, but then he says that he does, and that she gets that from him. They’ve shared a meaningful moment. They both felt it.
When I watched that scene the other day, I was once again struck by how strong the desire for connection is. Also, the deep power there is in meaningful connection.
Meredith had finally forced herself to give her father something approaching the benefit of the doubt. And she appears so desirous of some point of contact, that if all they had in common was a snore, she’d take it.
My faith, life experience, and worldview, causes me to believe that we are created for relationship. That we are interdependent connected beings.
Currently we hear a lot about, “living your truth“, “be/do you“, “If it’s good or works for you...”, and the such like. To a certain extent, I can support the ‘spirit’ of these views. I do however think that the fervour with which they are espoused, undervalues the validity of the old adage,
“No man is an island”*. – John Donne
In addition, potentially puts us at risk of not having to even consider thinking of anyone but ourselves. As we have permission to just “live our truth”. – Think this topic is really a separate post…
No doubt, some of the connections in our lives are not productive or life-giving. However, I still believe that we are people who are intrinsically wired to be connected to and with others. To enjoy our commonalities, be intrigued -and challenged- by our differences, and spurred on by the things we get to share and experience together. The good and the bad. Those that last for a moment, a season, or a lifetime.
If there is any validity to my thoughts, it follows that we need to ensure we make space, and time for connection. Aiming to be fully present in the moments of our lives, and the interactions, relationships, and so on that it affords us.
For more than just my thoughts, check out the 80-year Harvard Study of Adult Development (aka Harvard Happiness Study). It claims that the key to a happy life is our relationships.
Three key findings cited by the research are:
- Social connections are really good for us, and that loneliness kills.
- It’s not about the quantity of friends that you have, but the quality of your close relationships that matter.
- Good relationships don’t just protect our bodies, they protect our brains.
The study utilised questionnaires, interviews, observations in the participants homes, medical examinations and more. It is actually an ongoing piece of research.
Watch a Ted Talk by the current director of the study, Robert Waldinger or click the links below for more info: