As I lazily sink into the couch after Christmas lunch, my family and I choose to put on a movie called ‘The Book Thief’. I had watched it a couple of years ago and enjoyed it a lot. This time I am about to learn something, which makes watching it twice worthwhile.
In the story, set at the time of the Second World War, there is a young guy named Max who lives hidden in the basement of the Ubermann family’s house. Max befriends young Liesel who is also staying at the house.
In one of the scenes, Max teaches the young girl about the importance of words, while he hands over his Christmas gift, a self-made diary. He encourages her to start writing in it and says:
‘Where there are words, there is life’.
As I try to find a meaningful message to start the year, this scene makes me think about the billions of New Year’s blog posts and resolutions that cross the cyberspace and appear in your feeds.
This makes me wonder at times if there is anything left to be said.
Out of nowhere, the answer pops into my mind. The message is clear and it says… no matter how many words, feelings, notes of gratitude we all write or say to others… it is not just about the words, rather it is about our spirit coming to life every time we create a connection with another human being.
It is about our brains becoming joyful and motivated because of these connections, which can take us beyond our individualistic existence. Our brains are social entities that crave connection, validation and acknowledgement.
We now know that isolation and being wrapped too much in our internal world can lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. Connecting with others is vital for our mental health.
So my 2016 wish for those who come across this post is to continue communicating and connecting with followers, colleagues, family and friends, with good intention, authenticity and love…because…as the young Max said in the movie: ‘words are life’, particularly when we use them well.