Did you get to grow up any time back when most of our human population still acted, you know…human?
Remember when a real human being still courteously answered the phone upon calling costumer service? Or when people chatted with the cashier at a the gas station vs swiping a chip at the pump? How about when one briefly shared an event about their day to the youngster bagging their groceries vs rushing through self-checkout? Do you talk about the weather with the teller at a bank or do you just snap all your info via the app?
Like me, do you have thousands (literally) of your children’s photos just safely stored away in a digital compartment vs on display for your loved ones to embrace in real life? Did you ever get birthday and holiday cards still, like in the 90s?
I don’t think I have ever even mailed a hand written card or tangible photos to anyone since my late teens/early 20s! I’ve also never done something like manually wash my car with my kiddos. Only since 2020 have I shoved my anxiety underwater and started making genuine phone calls and don’t panic over authentic hospitality with my fellow humans.
My friend, we now live In a technology-driven world set up for self isolation. We are a part of such a fast paced society, that there is almost no more genuine human interaction outside of our immediate familiar circle. There is simply little to zero authentic engagement with others.
There was a a time when every activity spurred a conversation. People were actually approachable. Their eyes weren’t glued to a phone or their ears plugged with ear buds.
Now, human contact is going the way of the snow leopard. Business, entertainment and communication is now carried out via text, email, apps and social media. You can literally cycle through an entire day without exchanging a single word or one hello from/to your fellow human being.
Sister, we are still human! And in this post, I have compiled 20 realistic ways to embrace that sense of humanity; ways that should never get old or be forgotten. This post includes a mix of ideas to carry out for others as well as ideas to pursue for yourself . Here they are!
Practice recipes/chores manually. Dish wash vs dishwasher, line dry vs dryer machine, homecooked vs delivery, from scratch vs premade, sweep vs vaccum lol.. (These are just some ideas to prove my point.😉)
Be observant! Pay attention to others, especially when they talk. Keep an eye out for signs loneliness, needs, likes, etc. What can they benefit from? A kind gesture, uplifting word or a smile?
Order the good ol’ tangible newspapers to pick up from your porch and read from there vs scrolling through your news app on your mobile.
From a recovering phone phobia victim (aka, me): Just pick the phone and CALL someone; a friend or family member. Show genuine interest in your approach to reaching out.
Speak up! You see something worth complimenting? Smile and TELL her how gorgeous her dress is! Her shoes, her earrings, her hairdo…whatever. Make her day.
Get the address of elderly in your family and mail hand written cards as well as some family pictures
Stop avoiding looking at someone when you cross paths as if he/she were invisible. You may be their only smile and kind greeting in their whole day!
Carry yourself with kindness and show a positive attitude with people like the cashier, the bank teller, etc.
Get started on printing some tangible photo prints! Frame several and put together some albums. This is an ideal treasure for your family and friends to enjoy!
Forget about YouTube and Instagram for a while and display things around your home that take you back to a place in time that brings you comfort and provides you a sense of connection to that point in time.
Uncommon idea but please thank and compliment a costomer service rep who has treated you with a polite, kind and courteous manner and genuinely helped you. People don’t sound like this anymore (when we DO get to talk to a human anyway), and acknowledging someone’s positive attitude will encourage it further, thus benefiting more people!
Limit the number of electronics you have in your household and of course the time you invest on them. You can even replace some of it’s uses with old fashion stuff (alarm clock, calendar, notebook, music player, good ‘ol camera…etc.)
Adopt a family. Yes, keep an eye out for a family in need and leave surprises for them! Get your kiddos involved.
Open your home. Who doesn’t love hospitality? Believe me when I tell you how happy someone will be to get invited over for brunch or a coffee via random phone call, so invite someone!
Once upon a time we did not eat or drink out of plastic or disposables. There is something so human about eating/drinking out of glass/dinnerware that it’s something I started doing, guests or not; even if it’s for an outback picnic.
Remember birthdays. I have always found it so admirable of a person who, without having to, remembers my special day. I am highly appreciative of them and grateful of their gestures.
Have goody bags ready to go in your car for when you are out and encounter homeless people. Include things like a water, non-perishable treats, a couple bucks, some type of encouraging material and maybe add an extra special item that pertains to the season we are in!
Spend as much time outdoors as possible. There are too many pretty porches in the neighborhood and not enough families out in the evenings enjoying them!
Bond with other people! Yes, that sounds weird and like, why would I wanna do that, but that is the mentality that society has groomed you for. And whether we agree or not, people need people! Community IS a factor of human survival!
Ultimately, pay it forward. Carry out random acts of kindness. Ideally, involve your children as much as you can.
A couple weeks ago, in only the span of 24 hours, I lost a loved one, welcomed a new life (bestie gave birth), and sent an accidental text message to a teenage girl we know and love who, at the moment, just happened to have been in desperate need of a hug, a burrito, and someone to listen to her.
Did the magnitude of sleep I lost over any of these events matter? Absolutely not!
If you look around you, there will always be someone you can bless. How can you reach out? What simple act or word would make someone’s day after having crossed paths with you?
What can you teach your own children and pass on to them? Lately, my kids got to be let in on old photos, family history and a sense genuine embrace of who and where we come from, all since my great Aunt’s passing. How human, loving and life-giving is that?
We are people, we have feelings, we have a background. People need people! We need one another! And we can always do/give something!
My ultimate encouragement to you today is this. Never stop pursuing a life that cultivates family, friends, and authentic interactions beyond them that nurture others who could never pay us back! Stay REAL and be genuine with others, even when that involves getting out of our comfort zone. I promise, you will overcome and no longer be uncomfortable about it!
“Blessed are those who can give without remembering and take without forgetting.” —Elizabeth Bibesco