In the past, humans were inherently more respectful of one another and devoted more time to the niceties of getting to know each other and exploring common ground. In this age of hustle and bustle, however, we simply rush about minding our business and focusing solely on ourselves. We now find it hard to take the time to establish meaningful connections with others.
The truth is, we need other people to survive; none of us can live a happy and healthy life in isolation. Our evolution and personal growth are highly dependent on how well we connect with our fellow humans.
As a species, we are social animals wired to create connections with one another. We are instinctively driven to come together and form groups of friends, associations, and communities. Thousands of years ago, connecting is what our ancestors were doing when they gathered around the fire to eat woolly mammoth steaks or stitch animal hides together for clothing.
According to Nicholas Boothman, one of the benefits of creating meaningful connections with others is longevity. When you make connections, your entire being, especially your brain, grows and flourishes. Studies have shown that people who stay socially and physically active have longer life spans.
However, being socially active doesn’t mean hanging out with the same old crowd and peddling around on an exercise bike. It means getting out and making new friends. When you put yourself out there and make new connections in the outside world, you also make new connections in the inside world — in your brain. This keeps you young and alert.