Are we connected to each other?


I was riding the NYC subway downtown to get to an event. It’s the quickest way around the city, and approximately 2.4 million people use it daily.

While on the subway, you are probably going to bump into someone or touch another human being at some point in your journey. It’s just par for the course living in a big, crowded city.

Most people are engaged with their phones or reading a book and not actively connecting with each other. That behavior has been part of our human condition for the past 30 years or probably even longer.

On this fateful day, I was sitting near a young man who had his head down, buried in his phone. He was a big guy – tall with long legs and a muscular body.

Even though I was sitting two seats away from him, the music coming from his phone was blasting loud enough that I could hear it outside of his headphones.

It was really loud!

An older woman, wearing two face masks (yes, two), and a pair of white gloves, stood up to exit the train. But, she couldn’t get around the big guy. His legs were long and his knees stuck out a bit further than most of us little shorties.

She shouted, “Excuse me, I need to get by!”

He was completely unaware and didn’t hear her or see her.

She quickly raised her voice, “Excuse me! Excuse me!!”

With each second she grew more flustered. And, she wasn’t standing there very long. Maybe 5-6 seconds.

She yelled even louder and was about to burst into tears, “EXCUSE ME!!!”

I thought to myself, why doesn’t she just tap him on his shoulder?

I quickly reached over and tapped the big guy on his knee.

He looked up at me, startled.

I gave him a NYC head nod, acknowledging his presence.

And, then I lifted my chin, and pointed my face toward the woman, indicating he should follow my gaze.

Once he became aware of the woman standing there with her gloved-hands stiff at her sides, he immediately shifted his legs sideways so she could easily pass.

The poor woman was completely stressed out. Actually, it was more than that. She was petrified.

I don’t know what media she’s been watching, reading or listening to, but it scared her to death, and she was unable to simply connect with another human being.

As of this writing, it is June 2023, three and a half years after the initial covid debacle.

Surely, people know the truth about masks and the damage they cause by now, no?

Masking, social distancing, and all the other control tactics that were rolled out on the general public was, and still is, a way to keep people afraid and disconnected from each other.

That woman is not the only person I’ve seen in NYC still wearing a mask or two.

I’ve seen people outside in Central Park, and inside restaurants and stores, wearing them: young people, old people, little kids, black people, white people, immigrants, citizens, women, men, gay, straight, you name it.

Masks don’t discriminate.

These people have been emotionally damaged by the perpetual fear mongering.

The media, the politicians, and the unnamed people that run the world did a great job of scaring people into submission, compliance and ultimately, separation from each other.

Here are my two cents on how to help us reconnect with each other, healthfully.

  • For the people that are unaware, gently nudge them in the direction of what is going on and show them what they need to be aware of.
  • For the people that are scared to death, let them pass, and show them kindness.

And, remember this quote by William James, American philosopher and psychologist.

He said, “We are like islands in the sea, separate on the surface but connected in the deep.”