In this wide, unyielding Universe it has never been so easy to feel insignificant. To log into one’s various social media accounts is to bear witness to the lives that others are leading without you, leading to feelings of hopeless isolation. We are lonely individualists, categorizing ourselves into increasingly-specific personality check boxes while fruitlessly searching for companionship on a lonely night.
Our inherent problem lies not in our quest for individual identity, but rather in our gross misunderstanding of singularity.
Singularity is not always steeped in profundity, or partner-in-crime rhetoric. It is not found solely in the whispered promises on the lips of a lover, or even tucked in the warm assurance of a friend’s embrace. Why do we continue to limit our ideas of common ground to the big picture–searching for meaning and understanding in shared ideals and social compromise? While these facets of life are no doubt important, critical to fostering a sense of diplomacy in the dog-eat-dog world around us, it shouldn’t take a long conversation on politics or moral standing to repair the broken chain links lying tattered at the feet of our fellow man.
Because there is a quiet beauty in the shared human experience, lost in the fleeting moments of everyday monotony. Sitting in a lecture, standing on the sidewalk, wedged between strangers on the T–the moments are thoughtless, gray bits of the mundane that remind us of our humanity. Often, we become lost in our routines, so much so that they become like second nature. But in that moment–a moment that may seem mass-produced and identical to every other operation just like it–You are Here. You are a clump of tissues, thoughts, and stardust surrounded by hundreds of people who you will never know.
And it is a rather romantic thought. With each passing day–each passing commute, each hour spent sitting behind a desk, each mindless office task–You lessen the degrees of separation between Yourself and the shapeless faces that surround you. You share a flicker of a moment with everyone You meet, uniting you for the briefest of seconds under a single banner. You are singular not in perception, but in experience, in living through the day-to-day and choosing to come back time and time again.
It’s connectivity in simplicity, reducing our quest for camaraderie to the heart at the matter: a shared human experience. And while this idea won’t bridge ideological gaps, or right political ills, it works on small-scale human interactions, hoping to lower the walls between You and those around You. So put it to work and greet Your fellow man. Push Yourself out of the bubble of isolation, and connect on Your most basic shared experiences.
Because You aren’t as far away as you think You are.