My colleagues are too kind. They arranged a get together before I headed out for a year’s break and we relived shared experiences. That’s when a significant thought struck me.
There is no goodbye between friends.
Let’s revisit a famous analogy. Our life, it is said, is similar to a passenger on a train. People came aboard the train, were with us for a while and left when they arrived at their destination. Relationships are transient, so you were encouraged to connect with people when they were travelling with you. After all, your neighbour could well depart at the next station, and you would never see her again.
This analogy still holds true for human life. We are born, live and die – our physical time is indeed limited. But space and timezones have ceased to be a limitation now. Any person in the world is just one WhatsApp message/ call or tweet away. You have absolutely no excuse for not reaching out to a person you wish to. We had no destination we had to drop off on – virtually we were on the same train forever (or until we wanted to depart!).
As our meeting progressed joyfully – I realised I didn’t need a business reason to call any of these folks. They were friends – we were likely to connect just to say hello. That’s a profoundly satisfying feeling.
As I chatted about this with a friend later in the day, he asks me a much deeper question. If conversations are so easy now, why are people often disengaged? We have competent, high tech phones. Why then do we hesitate to make that call we know we need to make?
I don’t know – but I suspect Maya Angelou has the answer:
I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.– Mary Angelou
And this, I realise, is what good teams do. They make each other feel good. And this goodness is what translates into a great culture. Happy cultures almost guarantee colleagues turn into friends – and with friends on board, work takes a playful hue. It’s a very virtuous circle.
So is technology pro-human? That’s a nuanced question. On one side, we push automation as a way to get humans out of the equation. On the other hand, “Experience” technology tries to make our interactions more human. As far as the common man is concerned, 4G and 5G are mere words until an emoticon, a video or a voice make it a worthwhile human experience. My point – displaying more human-ness through enabling tech is an option. And in today’s world, it’s an excellent choice.
And so we complete our meditations for the day. Goodbyes don’t exist anymore. Technology has rendered physical proximity non-essential, and so people are always just a call or message away. The trick is in how we connect and between Maya Angelou and today’s technology, we are covered. Agreed?
Enough for today – enjoy your weekend. 😀😀