Random Conversations

The Joy of Human Connection

The Joy of Human Connection

Share this:

It doesn’t take much to make me happy. In fact, I typically go through my day sporting a smile, enjoying my life and the unfolding of all around me in my corner of the world. A few days ago, that smile got even bigger!

According to the World Population Review, Manhattan has a current population of 1,629,153, of which I am one. We are all nestled in a packed 23 square miles, giving this NYC borough a population density of 70,826 people per square mile. I won’t hold them to those numbers, but that’s a lot of people!

What’s the chance of bumping into someone you know in that environment? It appears as though the chances are pretty good – and that’s what brought me some unexpected joy.

My Recent Experience

Leaving my apartment last week, two people from my building were savoring their coffee outside a café around the corner, and we waved good morning to each other as I walked by. A few steps later, my next-door neighbor and I passed on the sidewalk and had a quick hello.

At Union Square, two of my favorite people managed to be exactly where I was walking, and we shared a delicious conversation under the shade of a tree.

Connections continued at the farmer’s market. My favorite eggs were brought out for me unasked by the person manning that farmstand who knows my taste so well that he can rank my choices from first to fourth. As I walked further, those at another farmstand immediately offered recommendations guiding me to what they knew I would like.

On my way home, it was the doorman from a neighboring building with whom I exchanged friendly hellos. What a perfectly delightful morning!

Reflecting on Connection

I came home with a feeling of belonging. The connection I felt was not only with people but also with my neighborhood. Together they created a sense of community. I was home.

Feeling at home did not always come easy for me. I have lived in four states and eleven cities in the US, in addition to living in another country. To one degree or another, I felt like an outsider.

Friendships formed and have grown over decades, for which I am incredibly grateful – but the physical connection to where I lived had been missing.

There is something grounding in the feeling of belonging. It colors my ongoing conversations with myself as well as my conversations with this city. It brings me great joy and a sense of peacefulness.

Moving Forward

Large, crowded cities have a reputation for being cold and impersonal, which can be true – or not. Our expectations often determine our reality.

Whether with a smile, a hello, or a conversation, I relate to people with a mindset of intentional honoring – and they almost always respond in kind. Over time, a community forms – one I am happy to call home.

Image by Freepik

Cathy Joseph is the author of the Random Conversations blog and is currently seeking representation for her book, The Art of Having a Delicious Conversation.

© 2022 Cathy Joseph. All rights reserved.

4 thoughts on “The Joy of Human Connection”

  1. I know how much you love NY, so I am so pleased you found your home and it brings you such happiness. You have THE best outlook in life and I hear the joy in your voice through your writing.
    NEVER change (I know you won’t).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *