[Charlie Todd: The Shared Experience of Absurdity]
This is by far one of the best things I’ve seen all day. The annual No-Pants on the subway day just passed recently and I’ve always wondered who and why it started. My favorite from this TED talk is the one where he had people stand by the windows in the mall by Union Square dancing, holding up signs, and doing jump and jacks. Especially the part where they held up signs that said “LOOK UP MORE.”
If I had been there, I’d have been mind blown, deliriously happy and confused at the same time but I can imagine exchanging looks between other strangers with the same curiosity and happiness.
We are not meant to go through life alone, we need friends, we need to feel that connection and we crave the love and compassion from one another. How do we build that connection? When we meet someone new, we tend to look for similarities in personality, hobbies, and dreams. That in itself is finding that shared experience.
It’s easy to have shared experiences with friends, each time you go out to a new restaurant or simply have a cup of coffee- you’re building the friendship a step at a time. But it’s not quite as easy with strangers. Within our busy schedules and our individualistic culture, we don’t have “time” for new people. We subconsciously go through each day filling up our time with everything we need to get done without stopping for observation.
Improve Everywhere has bought happiness to everyone who has witnessed these fun acts, not just being happy about your own life, but noticing the smiles and joy on strangers as well. They also serve as a reminder for us to take the time to stop and notice our surroundings.
When we take public transportations now-a-days, our eyes are glued to our smart phones and tablets. How can we possibly have any type of impromptu shared experience with others when we’re only focused on our own lives inside the technological world.
Next time you’re out taking public transportation, or simply walking down the street, try and make eye contact with someone. Break out a smile or let your eyes speak for itself. You’d be surprised how far non-verbal communication can go. You may be making someone’s day by smiling and acknowledging their presence.