You may have seen a short video circulating on social media recently from TV2 in Denmark. It’s called All That We Share, and this week it landed in my inbox for the third time. I took that as a sign that it was time to share it with you.

The power of this disarmingly brilliant three-minute film is in the way that it cuts to the essence of the human experience. No one tells their story, yet we immediately feel the essence of their feelings.

Every day, we see people who look different than we do, who talk differently and dress differently, who have different hair and skin color, who come from different socio-economic groups, who we assume have a different level of education or life experience than we have, or who we imagine are more or less privileged than we are. People that, truth be told, we probably wouldn’t initiate a conversation with or reach out to connect.

Yet underneath the shell of outer appearance lies the human experience – feelings, emotions, passions, anxieties, fears. Through shared human experience, we find connection. Through connection, we build community. Through community, we develop trust. And when there is trust, then pretty much anything is possible.

It makes me wonder if what separates us from one another is not so much our differences, but rather our assumptions and our silence. Our assumptions and the resulting silence keep us apart, not just from others, but also from ourselves. For it is only through exchanges with others – genuine and authentic connections – that we touch the deepest parts of ourselves. Reaching out to others allows us to reach in to the tenderness, beauty, courage, and authentic power within us. Do we dare to take the risk?

What kinds of people do you make assumptions about? What stories do you make up about the people you encounter, maybe without even realizing it? What if you let go of your story and reach out to say hello?

 

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