Monday, April 15, 2013

Come Climb A Tree With Me | by @kabaim

1,000+ year old coastal redwood
Why it is more and more difficult to make friends, true meaningful connections, as we get older and older?

Yesterday, my 7-year-old daughter taught me a significant lesson in how friendships are made.

We were at the local Farmer's Market, and I ran into someone I hadn't seen in years, and his two children.  His oldest daughter is 8.  I encouraged my daughter to speak to her, but she acted shy and a little embarrassed - didn't know what to say.

As the dad and I got into conversation, his daughter ran off to a nearby tree, followed by my daughter.  They climbed all the way up, like scary high - about 20-30 feet up.  There, they hung out for a while, just sitting up there.  About ten minutes later, they came back down, and had become inseparable chatterboxes.

It doesn't start with talking, it starts with shared experience. [tweet this]

Talking is intellectual, abstract.  Shared experience starts with shared intention.  And shared intention starts with resonating on the same frequency with someone.

Not only is talking (sometimes) intellectual and abstract, it can (sometimes) be used to push people away.  And I'm not even talking about the words.  Even if the words are nice, it provides a buffer between humans.  If you don't believe it, look into someone's eyes in silence for any length of time, and you'll see what true intimacy is, and how words can push this away.

I am so reminded of Christopher McCandless' realization, after spending months in the wilderness by himself: "Happiness only real when shared."  How true.

So, how about climbing a tree with me?

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