We Share More When We Feel Interconnected

Freud writes in Civilization and its Discontents that when we’re first born, we recognize little separation between our egos and our surroundings. However, we soon learn — unless we have certain psychological pathologies — that we’re distinct entities. We notice that we desire things that aren’t contained within our bodies, so we adopt the reality principle and sever our egos from our environment.

“Maturity” isolates and shrinks our egos, but not irrevocably. The act of sharing re-awakens our more interconnected selves. It blurs the boundaries between what is mine and thine, as philosopher Win-chiat Lee so eloquently explains; and it brings us together in the process.

This blurring is beautiful; but it’s not necessarily easy, even with the people that we love the most.

My birthday, Alison’s birthday, and our son Ozzie’s birthday are all within a few days of each other. While we attempt to honor our individual birthdays separately, the realities of the calendar don’t really allow us to do so. Ozzie made his second birthday explicitly communal by singing birthday songs for Alison and me. He sang one for his big brother Zeke as well, even though his birthday was three months away. It made both Alison and —> Read More Here


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