How does the chain of connections start? Well, Connections.Media picks someone we feel drawn to hold space for. Like anything, it is a feeling in your gut, something you just have to reach out and begin. Then we follow the journey from there, as one person picks the next, based on the conversation that took place on that day, in that moment. After 5 conversations a theme reveals itself, and a chain is complete.
Follow this theme of "UNDERSTANDING"
Town of Birth: Goose Creek, SC
Occupation/Job/Life Purpose Work: to help others, find happiness in life while constantly searching for greater self-spirituality
“Self-care is everything. That was one thing they preached in college. If you cannot take care of yourself, you cannot expect to take care of somebody else. You have a duty to yourself, just as much as you do to others, both mentally and physically. Just because your physical state may be good, if your mental state is not okay, you’re not helping anybody.”
I think Kicker picked me because we have had several conversations about life, and the connections that we had with people. Every time Kicker and I have the opportunity to hang out, it is more than just conversing. It is a constant exchange of life experiences, and knowledge that has helped each of us, once our time together was over. We have only known each other for a short period of time in the grand scheme of things, but our time together to share has only just begun.
“I love philosophy. I love Native American culture, I love things like Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism.
Daoism... I wanted to learn more about it, and the more I dug deeper, the more I just felt a true connection with it. Then I found this book, It was one of those books that touched me in a place I didn’t really understand, and it just made me so intrigued.
It explained Daoism by comparing it to Winnie the Pooh. Pooh wakes up every day in every episode, every book, with the same goal: he wants honey. But in every single book, he stops along the way to help his friends out. He stops along the way to enjoy the trees, to enjoy the water rushing around him. He makes sure he is never in too much of a hurry to get what he wants to spare time for somebody else, to help them along the way. And eventually in every single book, Pooh always ends up getting the honey. Some people think it’s such a complex theory that you have to live by, but it’s really just that simple.”
Daniel Huskey has a mission: to spread the joys of open conversation with the world. He makes a point of reaching out to friends, coworkers, even strangers on the street, and talking with them on as deep a level as they will let him. From a simple ‘How are you?’ to a life-changing discussion, he is eager to engage.
Daniel has always had a desire to expand his perspective. He has done extensive personal research into a variety of religions and philosophies, settling on Daoism as his outlook of choice. He practices yoga and meditation to expand his mind and perspective from within, often finding strength and guidance from the ocean.
He shares this elevated mindset with the people he speaks with, giving and receiving light and good feelings, knowledge and wisdom, openness and connection.
“I don’t think you can blame anybody. In social work, we have to look at how someone was brought up, what kind of household they lived in, what were they taught every day by their parents.
And that’s where deeper thinking comes, when you have to question your own morality in these situations you hear about and you’re like ‘is that really what I believe? Why do I believe this? Should I change what I believe?’ A lot of people just take it as fact: This is me, this is who I am, this is what you get. They don’t try to challenge that, but you can’t have a one-sided coin. There always has to be a second side, but a lot of people don’t dig deeper. They stay on that flat surface and they just coast through life.”
If you could invent a gadget to solve an everyday problem, what would it be?
One that would solve an everyday problem: it would be something that would allow me to put trash on a tray from anywhere in the house that would always take it to the trash for me.
What types of things do you splurge on?
Traveling to new places, camping, and seeing as much good music as I can.
When is the last time you cried from laughing?
I watched a guy who seemed to be lost, but in reality was just beyond content to be dancing with a balloon.
What do you think about when you're alone in your car?
I usually put on Pandora and allow my brain to drift. My imagination is very vivid, so my brain creates.
Describe the last time you felt passionately alive?
The last time I felt passionately alive was at Hulaween Music and Arts Festival. Being surrounded by people who were there to have a good time and celebrate diversity creates an environment that allows people to be as free as possible.
Did the last stranger you tried to start up a meaningful conversation with stay closed off, or did they open up with you?
It was very open. I was at a camping festival. We were both open for new knowledge, but also interested in sharing our own ideas and opinions.
“I still go to the same bank teller that I’ve gone to since I was 18 years old. Every single week, Miss Mary and I have the same conversation: ‘How’s the kids, how am I doing, what’s my work, how’s my girlfriend, how are my parents,’ and I love it. My girlfriend doesn’t understand it. She’s like ‘why don’t you just do the automated deposit?’ I’m like ‘no, I go to Miss Mary every week.’”
What do you love most about the EDM/rave scene?
The environment it portrays. People are encouraged to come dressed up as they please, to dance like noone is watching, and to appreciate everyone that is there. There are few places in society where you can go and feel nothing but love and enjoyment from everyone in attendance. I have met the kindest people and had some of the greatest conversations. Some I have stayed in touch with. Some I never knew their names.
“I’ve had the most amazing conversations with strangers, never to know their name or see them again; and they’ve had a big impact on me. One of the reasons I went into social work was because of the first conversation I had with a homeless man. It’s the things you don’t understand or expect to find. Knowledge is spread through language, through experience, through memories, and it can be as simple as smoking a cigarette with somebody, stepping outside, asking how their day is and letting them actually give you a true, honest response. Having that moment of unbiased human interaction when you just truly feel like you’re growing from this conversation. Not someone who’s talking to argue, but who’s talking to listen, interpret, give feedback, and then grow. The only true way to forward thinking is compassion and collaboration.”
Editor in Chief: Becca Finley
Article: Caralie Byrnes
Photos: Caitlin Billard
Stay tuned for the ‘Connections’ book coming out January 22, complete with all 55 Connections, and how they fit into the Charleston community. Brand new pics + quotes.