Connecting is recognizing that I’m only human when you reflect my humanity back to me. I need you to become me, and that’s why the “We” is so important. “We” is connection, is the Web of life, the relationship between vibrating living forms that gain individual sense through community, friendship and love. Nature is all about connection, about balance between elements that seem – at first sight – competitors. In fact, although we were raised with the idea that nature is all about competition and the “survival of the fittest” we might speculate that all animals cooperate for a balance. Lions eat gazelles, and that gives the impression of a fight between these two elements. But are they fighting? Can they be cooperating in a way of maintaining both animal communities alive and healthy?

Connection became so important in human societies not as new trend, but specially because we lost it, somehow, in the process of modern development – and we are now starting to realize it. Today we all know what is going on in Haiti, but we don’t know anything about our neighbours. In the old days, local communities would share common spaces, tools, knowledge and much more. Nowadays our neighbour seems to be a competitor, once we are all competing in the market. We don’t talk with each other; we don’t know each other and we don’t support each other in order to face local challenges. But yet, when we break this modern coldness in relationships and send a smile to our neighbours, to these faces we see so much but don’t take in consideration, everything changes. The power of a smile, of a “hello”, is the power of connecting. It’s something unique, as unique as the inexistent chance of having two equal human beings.

The 21st century is all about connections: between people; between cultures, between Man and Nature, between man and its own dark side.  We just have to look at the technologies we saw coming in the last decades. From cell-phones to facebook, it’s all about connecting everyone. If we have almost 7 billion Human Beings on earth that means we need to generate something like 63 billion unique connections. Once everyone and everything is connected, maybe we can go beyond all the religious, political, social, economical, cultural and all the other differences that nowadays keeps us fighting between each other. We are all one, if not in a spiritual sense at least in the way that we only become Humans when we act as a community, global and local. Glocal. We should all be aware of the international context, its problems and the big picture; but we have to start acting locally, facing our local issues and loving the process of facing them, as a community. If small is beautiful, local is wonderful. And the future is all about connecting (or re-connecting) with the local reality through global awareness.

Reality is fractal; cities, families and individual Human Beings reflect the same branching pattern of a tree. And as a tree, we need to create strong roots – as in local resilience – but growing until reaching the sky – as in raising ourselves as a hole, no one excluded. And then we can explore space together, both inner and outer, forever.

Tiago Lucena

Photo: David Relan