People Are Just People

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

July 14, 2022

I have a quote hanging in a picture frame in my kitchen. The quote is from the book The Power of Lift by Melinda Gates. It reads, “Connect deeply with others. Our humanity is the one thing that we all have in common.” When I first read that quote, I viscerally understood it. Deeply connecting with others is why therapy works. Deeply connecting with others is why companies run effectively. And deeply connecting with others is how we can parent our children successfully.

Our brains are wired for connection. Have you ever felt the electricity running through your body when you deeply connect with someone? The conversation seems to flow effortlessly. And you can’t help but grin, feeling as if you learned something new or you were seen in a new way. You felt as if your life and perspective mattered. It could be a long-time friend or a stranger sitting next to you on an airplane. It’s our humanity that brings us together for that moment.

The American Psychologist Louis Cozolino was quoted as saying, “We are not only wired to connect, but we are also wired to attune to, resonate with, and learn from others.”

Last week, I took my first international trip. I attuned to, resonated with, and learned from people outside my cultural, financial, and familial circles. I connected deeply with humans whom I never knew existed. In one week’s time, I learned a lot about myself as well as those around me. I made new friendships, and I widely expanded my perspective.

Life is a wonderful thing when you open yourself up to human connection. That’s what we are meant to do. It’ll help us thrive. And I can’t help singing a line from Regina Spektor’s in The Ghost of Corporate Future, “And people are just people. They shouldn’t make you nervous … People are just people like you.”