I came across a cute animation this week of a little sad hedgehog who was struggling to make friends. His spines were getting in his way and no one wanted to get close. In the video, the other animals bring him a gift – a scarf and in the box all the packing – polystyrene rounds – which they promptly used on each of his pines so they didn’t hurt themselves when they gave him a hug.

I am sure we all know people who are prickly and we tend to avoid them rather than spending time trying to find out why or just getting to know them better. And as a result, we isolate them even more.

On so many levels this story was so meaningful. The animals were making an effort and were working around the difficulties so they could befriend him.   Do we make an effort?

We live in such a fast-paced world. If you don’t fit into the norm, it could well be that you get left out or feel isolated from others.

One of the roles I have taken on at my Rotary club is to interview and write about each of the members.   I am so glad I have volunteered to do this because it is inspiring. I spend about half an hour talking to the member and it is amazing what I learn and what stories they share.

We are so quick to make assumptions about people but when you talk in more depth and listen, you find out so much more. It’s like peeling the onion skin, there are so many layers to who we are.

I’ve also come to realize that more of us are shyer than you would think. Outwardly that may not be how we come across, but like the hedgehog we have a suit of armour we put up to protect ourselves. So when someone seems stand-offish, rethink your opinion, because maybe not, maybe the person is shy.

My other takeaway is that when I forwarded this video to friends, several responded that they were touched that I’d connected with them and they needed to hear that message.

Makes you realize that we need to stop more often and reach out to one another. To some this was my virtual hug.

So who are you going to connect with today? It doesn’t take much time – just a quick email or call, but it could make a difference to that person because it means someone cares.

And for those of you who want to see the video – here it is

Anne Day

Anne Day

Company of Women

I have had an eclectic career from running non-profit organizations and being editor of a national magazine, to working for government on women’s issues. In 2003 I launched Company of Women, an organization that supports women in business. A prolific blogger, I also write for the Huffington Post, and several other online publications. I am the author of five books on women and entrepreneurship, and co-author of Good Enough. Embrace who you are. Unleash your brilliance. which is available on amazon.ca In June, 2016 I launched Full Circle Publishing offering one-stop services to get your words out into the world.