One Minute of Human Contact

Dear Reader:

Human contact is so important….but I have come to realize that human/plant contact also makes us healthier. Like the cranberry cluster hibiscus this beautiful hibiscus (in the title photo) is a luna perennial…they last for several seasons…not just one. And I can stare at them forever in sheer pleasure. I always sense that the blossoms are staring back at me also.

I recently read an  insightful commentary concerning the connection of our soul’s visibility to disease. Interesting thought…the editor of Spotlight on Kindness had this to say:

Editor’s Note: Our souls ache to be seen. Regardless of our age, gender, race or social status… we need to be able to see and be seen on the inside, not just as we’re socially or physically embodied. If we and others don’t access or shine light on our souls, our bodies rebel and announce our untended souls’ existence through disease. Let’s all look beyond the surface to heal ourselves and others. – Ameeta

Apparently many other people share this same observation which has produced the most recent social/spiritual experiment movement. It is sharing a “staring” at a complete stranger for 60 seconds. Recently a world-wide “Share a Stare” took place in major cities around the world with astonishing results.

One such event, called in Ireland the “Sunshine Project,” took place in Belfast. One of the organizers re-tells what she saw and felt about watching strangers stare into each other’s eyes for 60 seconds…simply as human to human.

Members of the public were encouraged to come and sit or stand in front of a volunteer and, without speaking, stare into their eyes for 60 seconds. The number one overwhelming sense reported was that of peace…the strangest sense of peace engulfed both participants…as if they were  connecting with each other’s souls. Organizers wondered if perhaps this particular reaction dealt with the violent history in Belfast’s past…but other feelings emerged also.

Initially a sense of calmness was followed by the illusion that they were the only two people in the world…with the sounds and sights of the city faded into another worldly background.

Two participants reported back with their each unique experience:

“Eye contact is how we connect as human beings and it is different every time, but it always reminds me that I am part of something much bigger than myself.”

“When we look into each other’s eyes we see beyond our differences, I can’t think of anywhere where this is more important than in Belfast.”

Last Sunday our minister, Jeff, and his associate, Zach, offered the opportunity for any congregational member to come forward and receive a blessing or a healing or a charge. We were simply to tell whichever pastor we had what category we wanted and then have the sign of the cross put on our foreheads or hands with water.

A majority of the church members participated …lining up in two lines…I noticed that I had the Associate Pastor, Zach, at the end of my line. Since I have missed a lot of church starting with my foot surgery infection problems last fall and then chemo side effects I had never had  the opportunity to be formally introduced to Zach.

When it was my turn….I held out my hand for the sign of the cross to be drawn in water across it and then I whispered…”Healing.” Zach paused for a fraction of a second…I feel sure the category of blessings was probably requested most often.

To be honest I don’t remember what Zach said…but I do remember the feeling I felt staring into his eyes as he stared back into mine. It really is a spiritually connecting experience. For those few seconds…it did feel like we were the only two people in the church. We forget how badly humans need this type of deeper connection..much more so than just a quick glance and a “hello” greeting. We do feel connected with the universe when our souls connect.

So until tomorrow….“The eye is the mirror to the soul.”

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

I have lots of periwinkle colors now in my garden…. I read that they are symbolic of new beginnings...and I have been feeling recently that I am ready for a new beginning…what..I don’t know…but I can hardly wait to discover it.

Great game and start to the 2019 season last night… proud of my Tigers!







About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to One Minute of Human Contact

  1. bcparkison says:

    The eyes have it. If an artist can get the eye right the rest falls into place.
    ps.If you will notice…these people who are so bad and causing so much trouble have vacant eyes.There is no life in them.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      The eyes really are windows into the soul and life of the person…the saddest thing is seeing little children with vacant eyes…having experienced and witnessed too much tragedy too soon.


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