What’s on the Inside?


The world is learning some lessons this week. As often is the case those lessons come with pain. On Saturday night a young man was killed in a racing accident. A part of the accident was a man who many of us have cheered to victory on various occasions and many look up to as a sporting hero. On Monday evening the world lost one of the greatest Comedians of all time, a man who has made all of us laugh, many times.

The names of these people are not important. And in all honesty what they look like has no importance either. As @BlairGlaser says in a recent post. “The connection is, after all, what has immeasurable value.”(ow.ly/AcfbH). Most of us try to connect in some way with famous people we see in our lives. We think they have it all, the fame, the money, the power, all those things we see as successful. With the young man and his family our connection is loss. Unfortunately there is something in these situations we are truly missing – real connection.

I am sure most, if not all of us have heard the phrase “don’t judge a book by its cover”, yet we do it everyday. Every time we look at a person we judge the outside first. Many times upon doing so we dismiss them. Maybe we are prejudice in the worst case or simply picky. Either way we make a judgement, will I get to know this person better or will I just move on? In the cases above we made a judgement about people based on their ability to make us laugh or drive a race car. We saw the book yet have never known what’s inside.

Take a moment and ask yourself how many times have you decided to connect with a person based on looks and found that on the inside it was different. Or, you connected because they were rich or had things you wanted and found them impossible to live with. Even said to yourself two or three years later I wish I had really gotten to know them! We have all had those moments.

I am not an expert in any way about relationships. Over the last ten years or so I have however learned that unless I learn to listen with empathy, ask great questions and get to know someone from the inside there is no real connection. Do we really have any idea of the what was going through the minds of the three people mentioned above? We can all play analyst, but we don’t know. Do we know what is going on in the minds of our family, our friends, our co-workers? We certainly don’t if we don’t take the time to find out.

Connecting with other humans is a key to life. In many ways when we are younger it is much more simple than today because it is done face to face. Yet it can be done through social media. There is a person in my life that I have tweeted with, chatted with on Facebook, text with often and when possible talk with on the phone. We talk/text/chat about good times, difficult times and basic life. These moments have formed an emotional connection. We have never met in person. I think at some point we will, but if not the connection will still be there.

Connection does not happen from the outside in. It happens from the heart out. We may want to connect with famous people for who they are on the outside. We may think we are connected to family and friends based on what we see. Unfortunately neither is often the case. Life moves way too fast for most of us. Don’t let that stop you from taking the time to truly connect with those in your life. The next moment they may be gone.


6 thoughts on “What’s on the Inside?

  1. allipolin

    Powerful message, Tom. The only time we really have is now and we can either choose to be vulnerable and connect… or to isolate ourselves and in the case of social media hide behind our computers and superficial relationships.

    There are sparks everywhere of people who care…. we just need to see them. When I ask, “How are you?” but don’t pause to take a breath, do I really care? If I ask but pause to listen, connect and understand, it can transform our relationship.

    Truth is, we can make up all the stories we want about people we see on the news, TV or social media but the only way to know who they are is to make a real connection.

    Appreciate this post, Tom and I appreciate you!

  2. Heartwarming and touching post Tom. Indeed in this day and age where people are immersed in their mobiles and don’t even bother acknowledging people forget to connect and understand each other. Meaningful Communication is sadly becoming a rarity.

    Wonderful post Tom and well articulated.

  3. Pingback: Seeing Inside Others: JOIN People Skills Chat Aug. 17th #peopleskills - Kate Nasser

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