The New York Times recently published a thought-provoking piece about the power of human connection through the art of drawing. The author describes inviting strangers to draw each other's portraits without looking at the page – just gazing into each other's eyes.
The activity had a profound effect. Through sustained eye contact, the participants were able to develop a deep connection and appreciation for the other person's humanity. How much more different would the world look like if we were to stop looking the other way, to truly open our eyes and see that we all have the same hopes, struggles, and aspirations for a dignified, safe and hopeful future?
Looking to each other with curiosity, kindness, appreciation, and compassion can melt away the hardened barriers between us. We become aware of our shared fragility as fellow travellers in the vast expanse of human existence. We truly see each other, perhaps for the very first time.
I found this simple exercise really moving, not as a quick fix for all the tragedy happening around us in these times of change, chaos and crisis, but as a way to help me to remember, as the author discovered: opening our eyes can open our hearts.
Let’s start drawing together.