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Human Connection and Humanity: A UNICEF Collaboration

Human Connection and Humanity: A UNICEF Collaboration

If you had the power to solve two issues the world is facing, what would they be, how
and why?

The lack of deep, raw, genuine, human connection is an issue we, the population of this world, is facing. I choose this as my first point because, as an international student, my parents always mention to me how grateful they are for how technology works now. That is not so difficult to be far away anymore since we are a video call away. I simply cannot get the warmth of their hugs through a screen. My friends pointed out the other day how dating has become nothing more than a superficial swipe. They were enamoured by the idea of having everyone’s resume to judge makes it easier to pick out compatible suitors. Who is to say we know who is the best fit for us? Who is worthy of a swipe, right? When did the compatibility between two humans get so simple as merely a glance at a profile?

When I say we are lacking deep human connection I do not just mean interactions between people, I mean meaningful conversations, abrupt and spontaneous conversations with strangers. I know my parents always taught me to stay away from strangers, but I am sure they did not mean this. I want to live in a world where it’s okay to compliment someone or to verbally appreciate their existence, to help others who need it, I want to live in a world where it is okay to be desperate. Where feeling like you’re “too much” is a good thing. For this, I would create safe spaces for others who think like me to join, communities where it’s okay to share a meal with someone you just met. Creating these safe havens is just the beginning, people need to re-learn how to interact on a deeper level, and we need to expose ourselves again in order to normalize it. It only takes a few to start the beginning of a wonderful movement; connected. A second, and equally important issue I would like “connect” with the previous one, is to listen, and pay attention to, and be gentle to the introverts of this world. We live in a time when flashy, attention-grabbing advertisements make the cut. Not everyone is comfortable or capable of being outspoken and filled with the energy to give to others. That does not make them any less human or less capable of immense things. It is important for those who are able to be flamboyant, to hold the hands of those who can’t be beside them. I propose we acknowledge those people around us who tend to be more “timid” or quiet and let them know that they are valued, and understood. I do not write this submission with the perspective of solving all the world’s pressing issues. We could have all the riches and fruitfulness of this world in our hands, but without each other we are nothing. Our humanity matters.

Writer: Denise Durler

Editor: Nimrat Kaur

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