It’s All About the People:
I believe it is the people and those connections with others that matter most in this world. The more you can open up and share with others, the more you will learn about yourself and grow into a better human being.
SEA-ing the World
In the Spring 2011, I studied abroad on a program called Semester at Sea. The ship docked in 11 countries around the world where I experienced firsthand the power of human connections. I peeled back more layers and uncovered more about myself than I could have ever imagined.
Painting a Message:
As I walked the streets of Takoradi, Ghana, a man stopped me to look at his paintings. For whatever reason, rather than walking away and ignoring him like the rest of the vendors I was bombarded with while getting off the ship, I took the time to talk to him. Not about the price of his paintings, but about life. I learned his name was Alexander. He told me it was his dream that everyone could get along in the world. No more fighting, he said, because everyone is equal. We are all human beings.
By painting, he explained, he was able to express himself the best. We went through the many canvases he had. Women holding baskets over their heads as they walked into the sunset, a fisherman’s boat at sea and landscapes were beautifully composed with vibrant colors. One painting in particular caught my eye and I asked him to tell me more about it.
This painting, he said, is about people. On the one side of the painting is the face of a poor man, and on the other the face of a rich man. Down the center are teardrops falling into a swirling pool of water at the bottom. Everyone has their struggles, their ups and downs in life, Alexander said. Everyone cries. We are all the same.
Today, I find it so fascinating to learn about other people’s stories. To build the trust and share moments with each other. Many lessons in my life I have learned by connecting with other people.
It’s the People.
My simple jobs as a barista at the bakery and pouring tastings at the brewery over the summer. All the people I meet every day. That human connection is so rewarding and so necessary.
I often go back to Brene Brown’s TED Talk, “The power of vulnerability.” I watched it again just now, and I feel as if everything clicks again.
She says, “Connection is why we’re here. It’s what brings purpose and meaning to our lives…People who have a strong sense of love and belonging believe that they are worthy of love and belonging.”
This, I truly believe.