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Why Do We High Five Strangers?

January 30, 2014

*With Bronco Fever running rampant this week, I thought I would pull some sweet talk from the archives (originally posted 12/16/11). From 2,000 miles away, we are still #UnitedinOrange. There will be many high fives on Sunday. Go Broncos! 

At our son’s hockey game last weekend, I watched rink side. With Ned helping coach and the girls sleeping at Grandma’s, I was (happily) alone.

As the first big play went down, I heard my cheers echoing off the glass. Without realizing it, I quickly turned to the folks around me, hungry to share my excitement with other fans.

young boys hockey

My response caught my attention.

Given that our little hockey players couldn’t even hear us from the other side of the glass, why did I have an overwhelming need to clap and yell and high five the strangers next to me? Why did this collective cheering feel so great…?

As I thought about it, I realized sharing an experience is what connects us – to the experience and to each other.

It’s the camaraderie and community of a synchronous “GOOOOAAAAALLLL” for which we as a species have an affinity.

We don’t just want it. We need it. We thrive in it. And yes, we high five in it.

Whether on the dance floor celebrating the birthday girl, in the audience when the school choir asks us to join in, or huddling around the goalie at the end of the game, it’s these shared experiences that nourish the human spirit.

Sing together in the car. Chat in line with strangers at Target. Play cards until midnight with Grandpa.

These metaphoric high fives are the gifts that keep on giving.

 

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One Comment leave one →
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