Why Eye Contact With Strangers Is Awkward And Amazing
When was the last time you really looked at yourself in the eyes? Whether it’s with yourself or with others, on any given day we spend about 67.7% of our time looking down, checking our little screens as if there is something more important on them than being IRL. Without realizing it, or maybe so, we avoid. We avoid eye contact. We avoid kindness. We avoid connection. We avoid LIFE.
‘Where has the human connection gone? Share 1 minute to find out.’
The social experiment had spread around the world, from city to country to continent, its aim to connect strangers eye to eye. Before we knew it, over 156 cities and 100,000 people were in to share a moment of eye contact. It all started with The Liberators International, a team of special souls from Australia who organize participatory acts of freedom which allow humans to connect in love and peace.
As The World’s Largest Eye Contact Experiment gained traction, it was clear that while our society was indeed connecting globally, individuals still felt a raw desire for Connection 1.0, face to face.
On October 15, 200,000 eyes gathered in their respective city centers to gaze into one another. Three Tel Aviv organizations who promote peace, love and connection as their underlying principles collaborated to create the stage for the Tel Aviv experience. School of Shine, a women’s community empowering inner happiness, JOY Records, a music label inspiring peace as a way of life, and Pele, an Israeli organization who creates explorative events, joined forces as one bright flame to spark the spirit of our community.
The idea spread like wildfire, and over 1,800 people were expected to gather around the Tree of Life at Habima Square. People were called to bring blankets, excitement, and the intention to open their eyes, minds, and hearts.
With every new set of eyes, the energy surrounding the Tree of Life elevated. What started as 10 people quickly turned to 20, to 50, to 500. What was supposed to last two and a half hours lasted for six.
We sat as emotions ran, as tears fell, as laughter struck, as love blossomed, as hearts grew, as souls opened.
We sat as Israelis, Arabs, and internationals. We sat as men and women, and neighbors.
We sat as humans with a desire to shift something.
We sat as violence, terror and sadness spread in Jerusalem. A different kind of wildfire.
We sat with love and hope anyway, because true connection is the pathway to peace.
It’s incredible what can happen when a group of humans unite with one simple mission. As awkward as it feels to look a stranger in the eye - okay, sometimes just yourself, in the eye - there is something deeply inspiring about taking the time to connect in a way which opens your heart to truly see.
For more Tel Aviv community connection, get in touch with us here.