A Small Dose of Humanityby Kelly Petrich on July 19, 2012
Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting change in the people around me. People, including strangers, have become especially nice. The women smile and nod and many approach me to chat. The men are downright chivalrous, reaching to open doors and help with my grocery bags. Almost everyone — regardless of their gender, age or background — appear to grow a little bit softer when they see me, as if my image stirs them out of their daily grind for a brief, sweet second.
What is this magical power I’ve suddenly gained? It appears to emanate from my very large belly. I’m pregnant. Very pregnant, in fact, and my belly sticks out straight like an extra-large basketball tucked under my shirt. Of all of the wonder and joy (and challenges) that have come along with this nine-month journey, one especially interesting aspect has been the reactions of others. It’s been both surprising and beautiful to see people connect with a more emotional side of themselves and be so willing to share this with me, a complete stranger.
I can’t help but wonder how could I bottle this magic? It seems like our world – from our businesses to our civic and political relationships and discourse – could use a small dose of humanity. It can certainly occur via meaningful life experiences and even social and business campaigns.
One that comes to mind is the Olympics. It stirs a sense of pride and honor and connects us to age-old stories of human perseverance and triumph. In the context of this global competition, many people are willing to rally behind their countries and even bridge differences with perceived adversaries. In a merging of the Olympic spirit and my current mommy-focused self, this commercial from Proctor & Gamble celebrating the mothers behind athletes speaks to me about the love, emotion and human drive for excellence embodied in these experiences.
I might also consider the 1980s AT&T advertisement, “Reach Out and Touch Someone” as an example of a business campaign that successfully infused a good dose of humanity. During a time before constant mobile and internet connections, it reminded us that connecting with the people we love can be one of our greatest joys. (Full disclosure that AT&T is one of our clients and that as a hormonal, pregnant lady, these commercials still make me cry!)
Even as our culture and media often avoids focusing on the more emotional or gritty subjects of life, it seems that these are the experiences that slice through the noise. These are the things, much like my extraordinarily pregnant self, that remind us that under all the trappings of modern life and past the economic, religious, political, and social issues that divide us, we are all, in fact, still human.