Over the weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to perform on Blumenthal’s Belk Theatre stage for the 22nd Annual Festival of India in Charlotte. In case you didn’t know, I’m a flutist, but not the Ron Burgundy type.
This was my first time attending the festival and it was inspiring to see thousands of Indians and non-Indians coming together to celebrate and learn more about the culture. They may have only been there for the delicious paper-thin dosas and mango lassis, but that’s not the point.
The point I found was bigger than dosas, and that is, when communities openly collaborate, shared information can establish common knowledge, and a level of connectivity with others can begin to form.
I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples. – Mother Theresa
As I walked through the festival, I overhead people asking questions like, “what is this type of clothing worn for?” or “is this food served for any special occasions?” Hearing this type of open dialogue was not only refreshing, but important. It was a representation of how when we allow two-way communication, we more empathetically begin to understand each other. And, hopefully, begin identifying the similarities among us rather than the differences segregating us.
So, whether it’s through making music with your bandmates, attending a community event, or taking it upon yourself to learn about things different from what you already know, we all have valuable opportunities around us to connect with others. It’s up to us to jump on our natural human curiosities to continue the cycle of connectivity.
What helps you feel connected to those around you?