I recently hiked into Havasupai with a group of friends. It was enjoyable, if not too short of a trip. I enjoyed the company, the beauty, the swimming, and the hiking. Though the hiking got the best of me, my body feeling the effects of the uncommon exertion.
What struck me most on the whole trip was the connection that was shared between all the hikers, who were complete strangers from different places—some as far as
. Here is what I noticed. As a suspicious person I always weary of leaving things out in the open, unlocked and unprotected. But that feeling was non-existent as I left my pack with all of my supplies out in the open while we left for our day adventures. If my pack were stolen I would have no food, fuel, clothing or essentials. But I wasn’t concerned. Greece
Then there was the conversing. It wasn’t uncommon, actually it was the norm, to say hello to other hikers as they passed. It was easy and natural to ask where they were from and how long they were staying. Conversations were struck up at the spring, on the path and at the swimming spots. On our hike out we joined up with two other hikers and talked for miles worth of trudging along.
Part of it is attributable to the fact that we all are the kind of people who pay the price to enjoy something. The 11 mile hike weeds out the lazy, weak, overly busy and selfish. But there is more than that.
What it comes down to in my mind is Camaraderie. I like the word comrade (aside from its communist association) for what it represents. It comes from a Latin root camera that means chamber or room. The word simply meets chamber-mate. The feeling I get from it is “We’re in this together.” There is a link and a connection shared by two or more different people. That connection makes all the difference. It’s the same connection that sports fans share, students from the same school share, those from the same religion share and weird sci-fi movie fans share.
There is power in joining with others in a mutual cause. The one unifying factor that I wish were more powerful was the idea of American. For all its potential and past power that idea has become weakened. It is sad that there are so many forces driving people apart. I wish that there was more coming-together.
For me I realize the need to do more and be more. I feel like it is my responsibility to step up and start to connect with others on a level deeper than appearance. I need to see people and not immediately start looking for differences, to not immediately start judging. What I need to do is find out the common ground. I imagine “We’re all in this together” more that we think.