The Human Connection
By Treacy O’Connor
Inspired by a video of an eye contact experiment organised by The Liberators International, I brought this concept to Dublin as part of a global experiment, a wave of them taking place in 152 cities around the world,a network of over 150,000 people, all longing to re-awaken human connection.
How did it work? Very simply, busy passers-by were offered an opportunity to stop for one minute and connect with another person, by sharing eye contact. The very concept frightens the hell out of most people! Why? What are we afraid of as others gaze into our exposed soul? As we took our positions on cushions and chairs on Grafton Street, hundreds flocked around us, jumping in to try it. The curiosity was beautiful. Scepticism quickly melted into recognition and reconnection, with permission to step out past their everyday suit of armour for a moment.
The deepening circle of people gathering around us was a sight to behold. Hearts were lifting just by witnessing. We saw eyes and faces soften as they smiled at the warmth emanating. Amongst the participants, a homeless man dared to step into his vulnerability and share his gaze for one minute – a lifetime in his eyes – to be seen as human again, hopefully making his world a little brighter. For two hours, a magical joy of reconnection descended, sending ripples of gratitude and peace far beyond.