Yesterday I attended a conference in Glasgow called “Making Scotland the First ACE-Aware Nation”.

ACEs, if you are not yet ACE-aware, are Adverse Childhood Experiences and if you have four or more, you run a greater risk of a range of health conditions as well as certain addictions and incarceration. I learned a lot and was left with more to think about.

But that’s not what I wanted to blog about.

I was alone in an audience of 2000 people which gave me plenty of scope to observe how the mainly Scottish crowd interacted. This is my reflection:

I talked to several people at different stages and everybody was perfectly friendly. I smiled at people and they smiled back. I watched over someone’s bag while she was at the toilet, for somene else, I found out at which table we were meant to register. I chatted to my neighbour in the auditorium and helped someone find her way on the train. To me, these interactions ended a little abruptly. There was no effusive ending, as would always be the case in Colombia.  The people for whom I had done little favours thanked me and returned to their concerns.

The interactions were transactions not micro-relationships. I felt a little pang.

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