H forHuman

H forHuman

The human dimension is at the heart of Pirelli. The company embraces diversity, inclusion, passion, tradition and a set of values that have always focused on trust, dialogue and mutual respect between employees. The company knows that its strength lies in its people. To help them achieve their full potential it supports their professional development with a process of continual training, while promoting close collaboration and the exchange of expertise between departments and countries.

Isn’t being human all about making memories?

To be human is to be part of something bigger. It is to belong to the collective of humankind, to connect with other people, and share our experiences and joy with others. Because without connection, the colour starts to fade to grey

There’s a hashtag on Instagram that you might have heard of, called #makingmemories.

It’s a trend that has caught on for people posting selfies with loved ones or snaps from a special occasion, a family gathering, a picturesque setting, a famous landmark or a memorable life event. Many of the pictures make great pull-on-the-heartstrings material: think a child’s first experience of snow, four generations gathered for a milestone birthday, bucket-list trips and sunset dips in a cold sea.

At the time of writing, a search for the hashtag brings up more than 13.5 million posts.

While for some, this trend may come across as a little bit over-the-top, part of a faux-perfect front in a world of oversharing, to me it is a far more innocent sign of our deep desire to connect.

Few things are as oft-cited among the keys to happiness as gratitude and the habit of focusing on what you have – and in capturing moments of joy and sharing them with others, aren’t we doing just that? Quite literally, we’re bringing our attention to all the things in life we should be grateful for.

We capture these moments, naturally, to cling to what is otherwise fleeting and temporary – to share them with others to somehow prevent them from getting away.

We’re making memories – bottling the good vibes and telling the people we love: Look at this – isn’t life just beautiful?

Neuroscientists have been saying it for a long time: isolation isn’t good for us. Simply speaking, we need each other to stay sane. In the elderly, loneliness is a risk factor for both dementia and Alzheimer’s, and early research suggests that even those with otherwise exceptional memory have been struggling with brain fog and forgetfulness since the pandemic forced them into isolation.

There’s a reason for this, of course. For a start, even mundane conversations like those you might have at the office coffee machine help to solidify memories and make sense of things we’ve been through. In sharing our experiences with others, we bring these moments back to life and make them more memorable. But it’s not just that; interaction with other people also has a generally stimulating effect and helps our brains wake up. Some researchers are convinced that an increase in social interactions and fulfilling relationships can help protect against cognitive decline.

Human connection is good for our health in very real, very tangible ways.

If you look up the word ‘human’ in a dictionary, you’ll find that it is by definition about relating to humankind. ‘Humankind’, meanwhile, is simply human beings considered collectively. It seems impossible, then, to know what it is to be human without connection. Think about the age-old thought experiment of the tree that falls in the forest. Does it make a sound even if no one is around to hear it? Perhaps we, as humans, can have all sorts of experiences on our own – but can we make sense of them and make memories if no one is around to share them with us?

As a Swede, I’ve written a lot about happiness from a Nordic perspective and it strikes me that the collective is central to much of what characterises Swedish society. With neighbourhood spring cleans and potluck Midsummer feasts being among the most quintessentially Swedish events you could possibly experience, neighbourliness and community spirit are no doubt central to this nation of happy, healthy and contented people.

I think it’s telling that, across Scandinavia, the nations that top the global happiness indices year after year also tend to score very highly when it comes to trust in public institutions as well as fellow citizens. Reinforcing the idea that happiness is not about the individual – it’s something we create together, something we share.

To be human is to seek connection and to connect with others is to make the colours brighter, to make memories and switch the lights on, cognitively as well as emotionally. In the short term, this endeavour to connect might be the recipe for happiness. And as time goes by, it is likely to make for many more and far brighter memories.

Language needs clarity and the Pirelli slogan is a perfect example Language needs clarity and the Pirelli slogan is a perfect example