I'm currently sitting at Panera (mostly working, but also eavesdropping:) ) Next to me are three men in their 60's, I'd guess. When I first got here, there was just one. We exchanged hellos as I settled into the table next to him.
"I'm getting ready to see a couple guys I haven't seen in 45 years," he said to me. About three weeks ago, he went to his gym and saw a young guy, about 25, who looked just like his old friend. He asked the young guy what his last name was, and realized it was the son of his long lost high school buddy.
So that snowballed into this meeting of three 60-something year old men, getting together at Panera on a Tuesday morning.
Their conversation is funny. "You have kids?"..."Remember that girl? She married some goofy guy from Milwaukee!"... "You're a bookkeeper?"... "How 'bout that football game at the end of our senior year!"... "Remember, when we'd fight people outside that church?"..."Oh yea, that guy Joe! Whatever happened to Joe?!"
As they talk, I've been realizing that all people want connection with other people.
Whether 60 year old men, or the dozens of freshman that are new on campus this week, all are looking for a group to belong in, a friend to talk to, or someone to shoot the breeze with to make this world a less lonely, more meaningful place.
Why is it so important to be connected to people from your past or your present?
Is it because we are made for relationship? Is it because people are realizing in the recession that relationships are more important than success? What do you think?
These thoughts brought to you by Panera Coffee.