November 1, 2021

Twenty-five years ago, waiting to board an eight-hour overnight flight from London to Nairobi, I observed three Kenyan men chatting and laughing as they prepared to return home after a training in England. Once we were on the plane, all of us Americans sprinted to open seats (overseas flights were often not full back then) and spread out to nap. The three Kenyans were in their assigned seats, shoulder-to-shoulder, continuing with their camaraderie.

As I woke, still spread out across the row, I saw the three men fast asleep, sitting upright in their same seats, heads on each other’s shoulders. In that moment, I remember thinking that’s the definition of community. I envied their self-confidence, trust and comfort in each other, and I felt some shame and sadness at my desire for space.

As we remain socially-distanced, I worry that we may never have a chance for that level of community.

Back to Blog Overview »