Thursday, October 16, 2008

Connections Part 2 -- Getting and Staying Connected to people

I struck a chord with myself on this idea--and so I wanted to flesh it out a bit more.

How do we become connected? How do we stay connected? What are the advantages of being connected to each other?

I've thought about this a bit and it seems we become connected initially with our families. As we mature these connections change and sometimes it takes work to keep them strong. I am really bad at maintaining connections. It is an out growth of my innate hatred of telephones. But I am a huge email fan--and that is a way to stay connected.

I am reminded of John and Abagail Adams (the 2nd President!). During his worldwide travels and even his travels to and from the seats of government, John and Abagail remained connected through letters and these letters provide an incredible insight into their lives. They worked hard to stay connected.

Families need to work in the same manner to remain connected with each other. Our family has a series of events this past summer that reminded us that we really do care about each other and that we need to overcome the inertia of daily living and keep in closer contact. We have been trying, with limited success to do just that.

In addition to families, we become connected to others through work, and outside activities/groups such as scouting and church.

As long as the groups are functioning the connectedness seems to work. But as these collections of people begin to dysfunction--possibly at the core, there is a loss of connectedness. Members begin to feel disenfranchised and set apart for the group. They lose the connectivity which to them translates into a sense of aloneness. And then they are lost to the group. That is the sad part. It happens so slowly over time that no one is aware of it until it has happened.

The object is to get connected and to stay connected. It requires effort--connectedness does not happen by magic. Communication is a two part process: sender and receiver. Connectedness is similarly a multipart process where multiple people become and remain connected. The vectors of communication are personal face-to-face contact, email, mail, telephone, newsletters, meetings and a host of others. Good connectedness is based upon personal contact--not mass mailings. It is an effort. But a good effort. Communities are built on this type of effort--the effort to remain connected.

Get connected and stay connected. We are all working our way through life together--and we needs each other despite what we might like to believe.

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