What If Today…We Felt Connected

Since you cannot do good to all, you are to pay special attention to those who, by the accidents of time, or place, or circumstances, are brought into closer connection with you.
~Augustine of Hippo


“Where’s Connor?” I sent them all out as a group while I stayed home with the baby, and I expected them to come back together.

I counted the children. The rest had made it home from the 4th of July celebration at the beach. It was dark and everyone knew instinctively to keep loved ones close so as not to let them get swept away in the tide of people making their way back to their cars parked about half a mile away.

Connor was gone. And he was only 4.

He’d left the beach with the group we sent him with, but when they turned right he went straight. I don’t remember how it all came together, but we got a call that he’d made it to Main Street and a man, seeing he was lost, flagged down a policeman who just happened to know our family, and were reunited.

There were so many people that night. One took action. I’m in awe when I think about how differently it could have turned out.

We are all brothers and sisters. That’s my belief. And families look out for each other. We notice each other and are engaged when time and circumstance permits.

One at a time. That’s how we connect. To me nothing is random. Everybody’s important.

Last night I went with a friend to visit an elderly couple. He’s 93, she’s 90. My friend cooked them dinner and I did a little cleaning and chatting. The husband came and whispered that his wife needs more help because she won’t stop driving. A new schedule of caregiving was made and he went to  break the news to her as she ate her dinner. That car was her only connection to the outside world.

That and the mail.

My friend and I listened to the woman complain about the difficulty she was having sorting through all of it. Honestly, I think that the mail was the only thing she could think of talking about. And sorting it kept her busy. My friend secretly went through the stacks and got rid of the junk and piled up the important pieces for her to think about.

All I could think, as I wandered around their house was that they must have photo albums.

We are going to have to sit down together so they can tell me some stories. I’m sure they have plenty of them.

There is loneliness in the world, even in families that don’t know how or don’t desire to connect.  For me it’s so simple. Everyone is a walking story. I’m enriched whenever I meet a new one. Sometimes the gift is reciprocated, but people are busy and very out of practice when it comes to having a conversation. We all want to be heard.

Connecting requires listening, asking questions, and serving in meaningful ways.

Just a thought. And two questions:

  • The Internet connects us as “friends” and “followers”. How has that worked for you?
  • How aware are you of the people who cross your path every day?

8 thoughts on “What If Today…We Felt Connected

  1. You hear of people passing and they might have some incredible piece of history about them in their obit but it had never really been shared. So much history and knowledge and how rewarding it can be to take the time to reach out and listen to these stories; and everybody has a story.

    I’m social by nature and the internet has worked out well for me; I do try to be aware of the people who cross my path but sometimes I get so caught up in ‘my things’ it’s easy to miss the important stuff.

    I do try though……….

    • You do well, Bill. But more importantly, people really feel like you care. And I believe that that is why you do what you do. You’re one of those who would like to be there for more people, but we can only do what we’re able.
      I agree about the un-shared tidbits. Today I asked a new friend and coworker what she’d do if money wasn’t an issue. “Brain surgery or DNA research,” was her passionate reply. I laughed! She went on for 15 minutes about her dreams. I never would have known!
      Thanks, Bill!

  2. Being connected is a GREAT feeling!
    You are one of the bestest friends I’ve met on the internet 🙂 and how cool is that? We never would have crossed paths any other way and what a shame that would have been!
    I’m a people watcher, so I have to say I’m very aware of who I cross paths with when I’m out and about..It’s always entertaining to say the least!

    As Always ~*~

    • Don’t you find it interesting, Ann that typically our first reaction (at least mine used to be) is to give someone their space as if they’d rather not engage? It never fails that when I start talking to someone they open up their life’s story if I ask the right questions.
      And yes, we are very blessed to have met!

      • I agree Betsy..I have met some very special peeps on Facebook by asking that extra question!
        A few of them like you and a few others you also know..it seems like we’ve been friends all our lives..
        I wonder how many other people have gained special friends like that on FB or other sites? Friends who really honestly care about their friends their family and their lives? that if Social went Poof.and was no more.would still connect!
        “Blessed” is a perfect way to describe you and a few others (who you know of course)!

      • I know! I have collected some phone numbers, and then we moved and most of those did go “poof”! Now I have to start over…just in case. I prefer a phone call anyways!

  3. I try to pay attention to the people around me and to friends/family, but I admit to often walking around trapped inside the bubble I have built for myself. I get so caught up in my life I sometimes miss things.

    • Don’t you think that’s normal for all of us, Jack? We can’t engage with everyone all the time. But there are definitely moments when if we do that little bit more we get a surprise of a connection that would have been missed. I think I tend to trust my gut when coming across new people and try to ignore my brain that keeps telling me to “leave them alone!”. I’m sure that I’m missing many opportunities, even with my own family. But I need a break now and then, too.!
      Thanks for coming by, Jack!

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