7.7 Billion, Healthy Connections, and a 1969 Road Trip
1 Kindness Quote:
A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affections for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. ~ Albert Einstein
1 Gratitude Thought:
Thank you to those who happily share their world with others, so we can all connect with the universe that is here on earth.
1 Kindness Habit Idea…backed by science 🧪:
We arrived for a cozy stay at the beach in November, a few days before a huge storm hit the entire west coast. Our balcony perches above the ocean, at low tide a couple hundred yards away, and at high tide, just 20 yards.
Through the blowing wind and pelting rain against our windows I could barely make out the distant outline of 2 gray ghost ships on the horizon. They were container ships, stranded in the storm, unable to continue to the ports of Los Angeles or Long Beach. Shipping backlogs. They simply had to wait out the storm. What was their world like out there?
Days later, an osprey helicopter flew by on a practice mission from the nearby Marine base and I wondered about the pilots and their world. Then there was the Instacart driver whose baby daughter slept in the back seat while he delivered our groceries. What was his world like?
And the list of ‘other worlds’ goes on… If you just look around. Every person you see is living in their own little world. Do you ever do that…. see a delivery guy in a UPS truck, or a neighbor walking down the street and you think, “I wonder what’s going on in their world?” True confessions. I do.
There are 7.7 billion little worlds out there (approximately), one for each person on our planet. And there are some really compelling, scientific reasons for us to explore them. It’s all about being connected. And it’s all about our health and happiness.
Science says ‘connect’
In a survey done by Cigna, nearly half of Americans (that’s 155 million people) felt that they were left out. It made me sad to hear that our young people…. millennials (age 23-37) and Gen Z (age 18-22) are “lonelier than any other U.S. demographic and report being in worse health than older generations.” I was thinking we could blame Covid, but these findings came before the pandemic.
35.7 million Americans live alone. And it isn’t just younger people who are lonely. 42.6 million Americans over the age of 45 suffer from chronic loneliness.
According to Douglas Nemecek, Cigna’s chief medical officer for behavioral health, “Loneliness has the same impact on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day, making it even more dangerous than obesity.”
And according to former Surgeon General, Vivek H. Murthy, MD,
“Loneliness is a growing health epidemic. We live in the most technologically connected age in the history of civilization, yet rates of loneliness have doubled since the 1980s.”
Recent research has shown that lonely people are more likely to have heart disease, immune system problems, and more trouble recovering from cancer. Loneliness can increase your chances of death by 50%.
Our worldwide population is growing, but so is our loneliness. We can change that.
Social Connection can help eliminate loneliness
We can all do our part… first by recognizing those around us who may be lonely and reaching out to them. And we can eliminate our own loneliness, too…. volunteer, join book clubs or other groups, travel, call friends on the phone, invite someone to join you for lunch. Even texting someone just to say ‘hi’ counts!
At it’s simplest level, improving connections can just begin with a smile, making eye contact, setting aside time for others, and listening. Sounds like kindness! We can all do that.
Ok, maybe we can’t explore all 7.7 billion worlds on our planet. But we can start with the little worlds right in our own back yard. You never know what you might discover. And those connections may just make a difference for you and for our planet.
A little extra tidbit…
I thought it was ironic that, when I searched google for ‘ways to connect with others’, I got 7.63 billion results. That’s just about one for every person in the world!
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1 Kind Act….
Two things for your viewing pleasure today…
#1 Neal Foard shares short videos of human interactions.
Hop into his dad’s 1960 Oldsmobile for a California road trip that will leave you filled with kindness and connection.
(For more inspiring and entertaining videos from Neal Foard, check out his YouTube channel.)
#2 Can you answer these questions about your planet?
How long would it take you to count to 7 billion?
How many people are born or die each second?
How many languages are spoken in the world?
All 7.7 million people would fit into one U.S. city. Which one is it?
Stumped? You can get smarter in this cool National Geographic population video!
1 Kindness Question for you:
Do you know someone who is lonely? How do you know?
Help Spread Kindness
Visit Our Kindness Library
Want a little more kindness in your life? You can visit our library of articles by clicking here! Enjoy!
Check out our new Gift and Book Program
Kindness Magnet launched in April, 2021 and has become tremendously popular. I guess we all need a little more kindness in this world! A great way to practice a little generosity is through our new Gift and Book Program. I hope you’ll check it out!
Brand new this week…. and just released, I’ll Be There (But I’ll Be Wearing Sweatpants). It’s all about how to cultivate relationships in this lonely world. Remember, 100% goes to support those in need.
I’d love to know what you think and get your suggestions!
May your week be filled with kindness. 💜
PS: Do you like discovering new things? Then you might like The Sample. Each day you’ll get a ‘sample’ newsletter on a topic of your choice. Check it out before you subscribe. If you like it, you can subscribe with 1-click. It’s a fun way to explore new things and expand your world! Enjoy! 💜 The Sample 💜
I always enjoy the kindness magnet newsletter!
Thanks for for letting us know that the 7.7 billion people on the planet today means every individual has a minimum of 7.7 billion ways to solve the problem of loneliness especially in this IT era.