“You’re an interesting species. An interesting mix. You’re capable of such beautiful dreams, and such horrible nightmares. You feel so lost, so cut off, so alone, only you’re not. See, in all our searching, the only thing we’ve found that makes the emptiness bearable, is each other.” — Carl Sagan
I always wonder when I listen to this quote in the song Doves by We Are All Astronauts.
In my college, I have never walked up to a complete stranger and ended up being friends. It is hard for most people to do so. No matter how much we understand the importance of interacting with new people, mostly in the early years of our lives, it is not an easy thing to do. In my freshmen year, I never knocked the doors of my neighbors or any of my wingmates to learn about them. It was a conscious decision. But I now realize, there wasn’t a random to-be-friend knock on my door either.
So many years and friendships later, I can now understand that between me and any of my friends, there is always one common “thread.” It can be the Literary Society (TLS), or the Open Source folks, or the ones from KOTA, or my wing-mates, post-rock music, department, being intoxicated together, etc.
For two unacquainted people to start a conversation, it is a bit difficult to talk directly about each other. It won’t even go well. But it becomes relatively simple if they talk about anything that they have in common. And then they always remember that thread connecting them for the next few meetups until they don’t need the reason.
It’s amazing how many threads KGP creates in our lives, to give us friendships for lifetime.