Yes, there is humanity galore at the New Media Expo here in Las Vegas. It’s pretty awesome. All kinds of people of different ages and various strengths, talents, and interests flood the halls and squeeze into full sessions. We all want to learn something new. We all want that life-changing thing, that piece of information or cool conversation or whatever moment we think we need to propel ourselves into greater success and happiness.
What I’m looking for is connection–that sometimes elusive quality of human-to-human contact that isn’t about information or even learning something new. I’m keeping my eyes and ears open for those people who really get the human power of blogging and the internet in general, which is its ability to help us create real connections with real people who share our values, who “get” us and whom we “get”– the kind of people I think of as kindred spirits. This kind of connection is a significant part of my spirituality.
Fortunately, I didn’t need to look any further than the keynote speaker Stan Slap. Here’s the first thing he said that made me sit up:
“When we lose humanity in business, we’re all doomed.”
Oh, yes. Replace the words “in business” with just about anything–or just delete them altogether–and you are still speaking truth. Our first priority should be our humanity–protecting our values and integrity, our self-respect, and encouraging those qualities in others. You don’t have to search to long on this blog to see how much I believe in this. It’s how genuine, lasting, and positive relationships happen.
As to why we should extend and encourage humanity, here’s what Slap says:
“Your personal values are your very own source of comfort, safety, and renewal.”
When we embrace and practice our values while encouraging the same in others, we promote what Slap calls “emotional prosperity.” Everyone benefits from this. It allows for everyone to learn, grow, be productive, and be happy.
I’m grateful to Slap for giving my some new vocabulary to talk about things that are so important to me, especially “emotional prosperity.” It seems a perfect phrase for defining ongoing productive happiness in the postmodern, westernized world.
Namaste, kindred spirits.