I’m inclined to believe that at some point or another, everyone has experienced a moment of deep connection with someone.
These moments are very satisfying and can be incredibly uplifting. But generally, these moments are limited. Typically, we only connect with those who have similar emotional, spiritual, or social experiences. Many have come to the consensus that a deep sense of connection is meant only for certain moments, and certain people. In other words, the ideal circumstance is a prerequisite for an ideal connection.
But every once and awhile, I encounter a person who has a gift of connecting with just about anybody. David Brooks wrote an article about these sorts of people called “The Moral Bucket List”:
“These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.”
Brooks paints a very illuminating picture of the inner light these people carry. He gives a list of what he believes are the qualities that give these people such “depth of character.”
- Humility/Self Defeat Recognizing weaknesses, and confidently acknowledging what makes you feel ashamed. Rather than relish in self pity, people with an inner light become self-aware and strive for improvement.
- Dependency Straying from pride and self-deception, and favoring commitment along with assistance.
- Energizing Love Moving past silent appreciation and openly acknowledging people.
- Recognizing a Calling Having a deep sense of purpose in whatever you do. Turning talents into callings, and are receiving reciprocation for your efforts.
- The Conscience Leap As David Brooks puts it, “people on the road to inner light do not find their vocations by asking, what do I want from life? They ask, what is life asking of me? How can I match my intrinsic talent with one of the world’s deep needs?”
A common theme I found in this article (which I am a fan of, if you can’t tell) is the necessity of humility. When I meet the people that David Brooks is describing, I am confronted with a desire to be like them, and experience the light they seem to carry. They are happy, and they make me happy.
But why? What makes these people happy? How do they access this deep sense of purpose, and of love and compassion? How do they extend their energy towards others so easily, and never get worn out?
Behold a brilliant quote by spiritual teacher Ram Dass:
“Once you get to your soul, then everyone you look at is a soul.”
I think that the inner light these people radiate isn’t a product of following a humility checklist. Rather, it’s a natural outcome of recognizing the goodness and light within themselves.
This to me is an very interesting insight… by discovering our own true nature, we instinctively love and connect with others…humility and compassion are self-gratifying acts…but they are also generous and charitable.
This suggests that humans are meant to connect…for the sake of everybody, including themselves.
Or, MAYBE, humans are all already connected, and their job is to just find that out.