Meeting new people and exchanging ideas can lead to great insights. A few days ago I met Kaj, we agreed beforehand to meet for a coffee in Helsinki. Our first potential encounter was a conference in Turku where I offered participants to meet the Chocolate Angel for a boost of positive energy. That was quite welcomed from everyone as those were two amazing days outside in chilling temperatures just above zero degrees.
Our discussion touched Artificial Intelligence and the challenging question whether robots could act as Chocolate Angels in the future. We both left with new ideas & thoughts. Afterwards he shared this book excerpt, it resonates strongly with me. Especially with my experience over time that the moment of surprise, when you meet the Chocolate Angel offers the most value to the recipient. The moment of first encounter, the offer of attention, recognition and positive energy.
The acceptance of the offered sweet is a beautiful addition to the smile which appears naturally.
“While close relationships are critical for living a meaningful life, they are not the only important social bonds we need to cultivate. Psychologists have also discovered the value of small moments of intimacy. “High quality connections” as one researcher calls them, are positive, short-term interactions between two people, like when a couple holds hands on a walk or when two strangers have an empathetic conversation on a plane. We can sometimes be distracted or aloof when we’re with another person, but during a high quality connection, each person is tuned in to the other and both reciprocate positive regard and care. As a result, both people feel valued. High quality connections play a role, of course, in making our close relationships with friends or romantic partners meaningful–but they also have the potential to unlock meaning in our interactions with acquaintances, colleagues, and strangers”
–Emily Esfahani Smith, the Power of Meaning: Crafting a Life That Matters