There is a moment in human interactions when we know for sure that we have connected with the other person on a meaningful level. We also know when we are just ‘faking’ conversation. It’s probably not possible to have every encounter with the other be meaningful, but it’s worth pondering at the end of the day how many ‘real’ encounters we have had that particular day. For me, these stand out. At times, I have to be satisfied with a ‘How’re you doing today’? Because that’s what is possible in the moment — respecting the other and our shared circumstances. But I am happiest when I can remember a genuine human exchange that took place. It’s a gift for each of us for that time and space. Pope Francis frequently talks about ‘a culture of encounter,’ and I think this is essentially what he is talking about: our ordinary exchanges in the flow of everyday.