I was on a drive recently, just to clear my head and experience some much needed freedom. The small things, like breathing in some fresh air, quickly become luxuries when the majority of your day is spent in the basement of your parent’s home. The sun was shining bright in the blue sky and the weather was spring-warm, yet winter-crisp. The roads were open, only with summer cars and motorcycles showing up every so often. I can only imagine everyone was chasing after that same feeling of freedom that I was.
At one point in my drive, I was following a motorcycle when I noticed two more approaching us in the opposite lane. The two flew by in the blink of an eye, but not before all three tossed up a quick wave. This was the moment I realized something.
It’s obvious why all three waved, they all have something in common: they each own a motorcycle. The three of them are part of a larger, but still small group of individuals that share a love for riding motorcycles, and much like Jeep owners, they’ll always throw up a quick wave when passing a fellow member.
Even if you’re not a part of those groups, I’m sure you’ve experienced meeting someone and through conversation learned that you two share something in common; maybe it’s your common love of a sports team, or the fact that you’re both taking on a DIY project, or perhaps you both have kids that play soccer. I realized that if you break down any relationships in our life, each and every one stems from some shared commonality; maybe we both went to the same school, or we both work at the same place, or we both bring our dogs to the same park.
Each of us are bound by our human nature to yearn for a sense of belonging. We search for groups, communities, workplaces, friendships and partnerships that make us feel as though we are a participant. Again, each of these groups stem from each member having at least one thing in common. Often, the hard part is finding people and groups that share that commonality with you. We have to spark conversations and put ourselves out there–both daunting tasks that take time and effort.
What’s happened to the world now has devastated economies, destroyed dreams and taken life, but perhaps a silver lining is that, now, humanity has one shared commonality: we combatted this virus together. There are no borders at play here. There is no red versus blue. There is no East versus West nor North versus South. This is humanity taking a stand, together.
It’s my hope that when this is over, people remember the time the world stood still, together. Then rose-up, together.
I hope this common ground we all now share will squash any petty arguments that arise in the future. I hope all of us remember this common ground the next time we’re in line at the grocery store, so we might have the confidence to spark that conversation. I hope this memory might shift our perspectives to think less like a member of our smaller groups and more like a member of our species. It’s been a while since many of us realized that we once fought for the same team together–humanity. It might do us all some good to remember this. And lastly, I hope that when this is all over, I too might be able to share in a wave to the motorcyclists.