Here’s how to personally help solve a tragic crisis of connection responsible for much of the violence and hatred in our world

Photo: Larm Rmah via Unsplash

In our last post, “Why Do We Hate?” we wrote that our delusion of separateness is fueling systemic racism, violence, war, and impeding our response to imminent, global existential threats like climate change. We argued that it is urgent for us to develop our capability to connect, and extend it beyond our close inner circle.

So what can we do to develop our sense of connection?

There’s no simple solution, as this is a problem that humanity has been grappling with throughout recorded history. But there’s a greater sense of urgency now, given the problems we face. …

The idea that we are separate from one another fuels much of the hatred, violence, and misery in our world. But it’s just not true

Photo: NASA via Unsplash

One common misconception fuels much of the hatred, violence, and misery in our world, and even threatens our very existence as a species. It’s the idea that we are separate from one another.

To some extent, we are hardwired to view other people as separate, alien, at times threatening. Within fractions of a second of meeting someone, our brains subliminally label the other person as a potential friend, mate, or foe. Our brains naturally prioritize and become rapidly conscious of faces that seem threatening. On top of that, the “other-race effect,” or the tendency to recognize faces of your own…

In this phase of the pandemic, genuine, lasting connections might feel elusive. Attunement is the key.

Photo: Priscilla Du Preez via Unsplash

Quality connections are hard to come by… especially during the pandemic and with social distancing. But even in the Before Times, genuine, lasting connections seemed elusive.

But why?

Part of the problem may include the addictive nature of smartphones and social media. During the pandemic, these devices are a lifeline to our friends and loved ones. But in non-pandemic times, being glued to our screens and devices is more of a boon for marketers and advertisers than it is for the quality of our relationships.

Then there’s the chronic stresses and anxieties we face. It often feels impossible to manage…

What the Dalai Lama can teach us about reconnecting

Photo: Creative Commons

This past year has brought a universal experience of struggle, one that looks different depending on who you ask. The cascading effects of COVID, social injustice, political strife, and climate change are just a few of the biggest stressors making this year feel like a marathon we did not willingly sign up for. Article after article, book after book, tell us how disconnected we are, physically and emotionally, and how this lack of social connection is insidiously impacting our wellbeing. We want to feel connected. We want to stop feeling alone on this marathon. …

Ashley Pallathra and Edward Brodkin

Co-authors of the new book “Missing Each Other: How to Cultivate Meaningful Connections.” Twitter: @ashleypallathra @tedbrodkin

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