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Real connections in a hyperconnected world

Going to meet people - the importance of nurturing human connections

Human connections bring a sense of belongingness and closeness which we can experience when having supportive relationships with people around us. Most of us are living in a hyperconnected world. We are one click away, through social networks, from commenting on a photo of a friend, family member or co-worker or starting a video call.

The information that we get from what is happening on the other side of the world, through the extreme ease and speed of communications, reaches us and produces - depending on the level of connection we have with people in those places or the degree of awareness we have as citizens of the world - different feelings and emotions in us.

We express personal feelings and opinions on our social networks - with such intimacy - as if we were sitting face to face with our loved ones; many of us share our daily activities/hobbies with friends all over the world. And that is something that I have learned to recognize and be grateful for after more than three years supporting with others a weekly space for personal reflection and group sharing of in Latin America, called “YoEscucho/EuEscuto/Ilisten”. We use the Zoom platform generously provided by ...For A New World and have discovered the richness of this space for listening, healing and guidance that the virtual world provides us.

Screenshot of one of the IofC Latin American YoEscucho/EuEscuto/IListen Saturday sessions

Having said all that, the richness and power of personal contact - giving that long-awaited hug, eating together, laughing, and sharing/analyzing the current state of the world that surrounds and worries us - are also necessary and strengthen the virtual connection space that we continue to have.

Recently, I was able to experience both sides of this same coin - virtual connections and personal encounters - during a three-week trip through Guatemala, El Salvador, Costa Rica and Honduras. I was able to connect and reconnect with people who accompany me on the path of my life.

After that intense agenda of connections, I continue to reflect on the importance of connections in my life, making new connections with people who are open to connect, and improving and maintaining the quality of the connection I already have with some people.

This brought forth the following reflections:

  • going to meet the other, leaving my comfort zone and entering the space of the other from the loving intention of expressing to them that they are someone important to me, and that this is why I give them my time and my attention. I thank Bernard Paris, great mentor and co-founder of the Latin American initiative Viva la Gente/Gente que Avanza, who from time to time went to visit hundreds of people he had met at different times in his life. Keeping myself available and out of my comfort-zone led me to three great days of connections in Costa Rica, where my friend Pilar Griffin, being obedient and generous, invited me to visit our IofC and Gente que Avanza friends there.
Friends of IofC and Gente que Avanza gathered in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, sharing with Ismar on his tour around Central America
  • go to meet the other without demand or expectation, with an open heart to connect with what the other person wants and/or needs, not with what I want to say. It is very healthy and brings a sense of freedom to share without a specific agenda and being really open to whatever might come out. In the end, the Spirit will do its job and blows in the direction in which the relationship should be guided.
Friends of IofC and Gente que Avanza gathered in Guatemala to share during the tour of Ismar in Central America
  • I was able to continue to understand how vital it is to be 'always ready' to share my story, life experiences, way of thinking and living, perspective of the reality and IofC's life proposal, through the practice of listening to the Inner Voice and the absolute principles of love, honesty, unselfishness and purity.

  • The importance and vitality of the role of “connector” in a team, in a living community, which is that person who calls, sends a message, is interested, invites, CONNECTS… in IofC/MRA’s past, this role was often very well filled by fulltimers. Now, who fulfill this role in my team or community? Available people are needed, with real time, to be able to respond to that mission. A community or a team that does not have someone with that active role runs the risk of losing the vitality that comes with being healthfully connected.
Some of the fulltimers / ‘connectors’ that spent years in Latin America
  • Last but not least, I understood that when we have connected deeply with another person, from aspects such as mission, faith, social commitment or any other essential element of our shared humanity, that bond is sustained over time, and when we are together again and share, the connection generated in the past is reactivated. I experienced that with host families and friends that I hadn't seen in more than 15 years….and it was a gift!

Knowing where I make connections from, how the connections I have made are doing nowadays, and what I am going to do to nurture those connections is an important reflection for my time in silence. In the end, life itself makes sense when we look back and see how well connected to others and with our call in life we have been.

To unveil our calling in life, to obey it, to break down the obstacles in the way, to solve the most complex problems that life itself puts in front of me, to leave a positive footprint in this world... for everything, everything, we need to be well connected inwards, outwards and upwards.

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