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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Connection Campaign

video

There is a common thread that runs throughout all humanity. There is an invisible cord by which we are strung one to another. The ego mind, however, has a tendency to separate and divide us from others. It wants to stand alone, on top. Walls are erected and distances are established.

But we are not meant to be solitary creatures. We appear to be separate, but separation is an illusion. In essence, we are One. In the deepest parts of ourselves, we yearn to remember that.

To rekindle the awareness of unity, I propose a world-wide Connection Campaign. I suggest that we each make a daily effort to connect with at least one other person. If once per day seems overwhelming for you, perhaps you could commit to connecting with another person once per week. Start where you are at. Find a way to relate. Foster love. Take part in my Connection Campaign.

The object is to let the other know that he matters in the world. How can we know that we are noticed, loved, and appreciated if we are not told or shown? Be a bridge to span the seeming distance between us. Find common ground. Focus on that which unites, rather than divides.

Connection Ideas

A genuine smile can initiate an intimate connection. Go beyond a rhetorical “How are you today?” Ask and expect a sincere answer. If asked, answer and then reciprocate with the same question.

Has there been a particular someone on your mind? Pick up the phone or send an email to let him know he’s thought of.

On a sultry summer day, invite your mail carrier in for a cold glass of iced tea.

Compliment the cashier’s hairstyle.

These are just a few ideas to help you get started. They need not cost you monetarily.

FAQ

How does this Connection Campaign differ from the idea of Random Acts of Kindness?
Here, you are asked not to remain anonymous. You are asked to reach out and to give the other the opportunity to reach back. The goal is to forge connections with others so that no one feels alone.

Connection Stories

Please share a connection experience in the comment section below. Tell us what you did today to connect to another person. Tell us how another person reached out to connect to you. Feel free to make an entry as often as you’d like.

Thank you for participating!

6 comments:

  1. Ahead of me on a long Wal-Mart return line was a man wearing a Vietnam Veteran cap. When I thanked him for his service, his face lit up with pride.

    He told me he served in the Army in 1967. I told him that the year before that, my father did as well. The man requested I tell my father that I met one of his brothers in Wal-Mart. I told him I could not do that because my father is deceased. The horrors of war took his 24-year-old innocence. He, in turn, took his own life.

    The capped man stroked his chest and said that my father is still a brother at heart. He then proceeded to tell me a short story about the food rations the soldiers ate. All the while, he smiled proudly.

    When it came time for us to approach the counter with our return packages, I told him my name and shook his hand. He introduced himself to me as Ariél. My skin tingled; that’s the name of an angel.

    A divine connection!

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  2. I was one of only two attendees at a guided meditation meeting. The third person there was an unpaid volunteer who began reading a previously written script. I closed my eyes and was mentally transported away from the room. At the end of the reading, I opened my eyes to find that the second attendee was no longer there with us.

    The reader told me that the other man had left less than halfway through the session. I was astounded that the leader had read through his entire script just for me. He could have cancelled the meeting when only two showed up, but he did not. He could have stopped midway once he saw I was his only participant, but he did not. I was so grateful.

    After I complimented his effectiveness and thanked him for his time, the facilitator began sharing a personal story about what had led him to this meditation meeting. When he was through, he thanked me for listening so intently. I recognized the similarity in our paths. We parted knowing that we will meet there again sometime. Over the course of one hour, two strangers had built a bridge.

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  3. I was housebound today. That was good. I got things done. I didn't get things done. I picked up a book that was non-school related and lost myself in it. And all day, in the back of my head, the tree stump waited for me.
    Used to be a 200-year-old Florida Oak right outside my front door. It was there when I moved in here, in April of '85 (wow!). It was magnificent: enormous, wide-reaching, green and green and green, and, ultimately, and sadly, rotten in its very core. Two years ago, because the branches--huge and dangerous when changed from Shade-Givers to Falling Objects--were letting go, very narrowly missing the apartments near the tree, the tree was felled. Chopped to the ground. Mr Peabody's coal train, or someone, hauled it away, leaving just a stump. It was a Master Oak, I am sure, a tree that had spawned life and been a conduit between father sun and mother earth for long and long and way back. And it was shade.......it could be climbed.....hidden behind.....slept under. I grieved that tree, and cried and cried. And then a friend, who had children, as I do not, told me about a book by Shel Silverstein called "The Giving Tree."
    I listened to Shel read it on You Tube. And I looked again on what I had perceived as that poor stump.......

    Today it is still giving. The huge round hollow stump of this Master Oak houses plants and grasses and a few flowers; it is housing and/or shelter to the squirrels and mices and perhaps raccoons, maybe a possum........you can lean on this stump, yes, sit there and lean back, and close your eyes, let go, let go really let go, so that the mermaids will certainly sing for you and you will actually feel a little vibration--the vibration of the connection between the sky and the earth and all the creatures, and the huge warm stump of the tree.
    So I did that. It was odd--I felt very completed.
    Pretty cool, yes?
    Yes.

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  4. Some times we need a little push.

    I am a rider of SCAT-Plus, the local door to door bus service for people with disabilities who cannot make it to fixed-route bus stops, or need wheel-chair lifts or whatever. I have COPD, use oxygen a lot. About two years ago, I met a woman on the bus with whom I felt an instant affinity--not surprising, as I love animals, and have, or am had by, two cats, and this lovely lady turned out to be a retired veterinarian I'll call Kat, with the usual disclaimer.

    Kat and I became very close friends, and have spent the last couple of years on the phone numerous times daily, always a good night call, laughing and crying and sharing ourselves with each other, visiting in person when we could, providing fun and support and creative thinking and being utterly connected on a major and deep scale. But differences and difficulties began to creep in, and hidden resentments, and, horribly, over a week ago, we had a major and apparently final falling out, over the phone. This last week has been so sad, and lonely, and I have lived in regret for the loss, but not even thought about dialing the phone. After all.......and after all.....and besides.........no. Ugly little word, sometimes: no.

    In the entire two years Kat and I have been friends, oddly, even tho we live in the same area, we have only been on the same bus three times. Only three shared trips in two years! Weird. Today I had a doctor's appointment, and as I got on the bus, Steve, the driver, mentioned that we only had one other pick-up.

    Sometimes you need a little push, from someone, somewhere..................just a small coincidence......because Life is just too short, it really is, Life is too short not to give it your all.........I knew perfectly well, as soon as Steve said it, who the pick-up would be, had to be, and was.........and is everything all right? Will it work? Who knows--but we looked at each other and looked at each other, and laughed and spoke of the weather? books? and felt that connection, that connection that we are willing to work for. Life is short, pride can be idiotic and lethal, and sometimes you need a little push, a little bus trip.......and, tonight, a good night phone call--just another little connection.

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  5. Connections are funny--funny ha-ha, funny peculiar, funny at the source, funny at the outcome, funny as they pass by into time. Connections are deep and beautiful and serious, of course they are, but connections are funny.

    I live in a small apartment complex consisting of eight single level apartments around a small courtyard. I have lived here since 1986; I, who used to move every time I got up! Mostly, the turn-over is pretty active, so I've had lots and lots of neighbors come and go over the years. Generally, this is a say-hi-and-go-about-your-business place; sometimes there is more camaraderie than others. Right now everyone here is nice and friendly but not much chatting or visiting, or, or, well, connection. Not visibly. But, then, connection is funny.

    In the apartment right next to me live a young lady--young like 18 or 19, i believe she said 19, and her partner, Travis, equally young. Brittney, as she is called, and Travis are parents of 4 week old Alana. Wow. Brittney is lovely: young, tall, reed-slender, long shiny brown hair, tan.....and she seems to have a lovely person living inside, too. Me, I am 66, shortish, overweight, pale-skinned. Brittney is, as she should be at 19, light-footed and scampering; I am knee-problemed and COPD-ed and what's a scamper? I am sorry to admit I have felt very unconnected to Brittney, poor ego-structure so sue me, look at her (I did) then me (aw jeez) yes, very unconnected. Then, yesterday, I bought a corned beef. Too expensive, too much fat, had to have it. Did. Got it home and found I had no pot big enough for boiling it. I did once, I did, I had a big pot, but it seems to have been one of those things that ups and leaves home w/o a goodbye. Damn. Now what. Brittney happened to be outside having a smoke, so i asked her if she had a large pot. She did, a nice, large black pot, and I cooked my corned beef and washed the pot and returned it, at which time Brittney and I chatted for a minute. The pot had done something weird while heating up, and I mentioned it, and Brittney laughed and said it had made an equally weird sound when she used it last, and we were both laughing, and we looked right at each other then laughed some more and you get the idea..................and what is beauty worth, or tallness, or even 19 years young, when compared with a shared experience over a black stewing pot. Women. Cooking. Both of us. We laughed some more about the whistling pot, laughed with that pleasure that says wow! nice to meet you!

    A black pot. Connections are funny.

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  6. I should be studying. School begins again tomorrow. Fall semester and approximately 732 books to read........well, or so. maybe 13. But yesterday.......wow! Yesterday!

    I saw a dr....got a script......and had the bus drop me off at my pharmacy, as the script very much needed filling. had to blow the money for a cab home, but that couldn't be helped. Actually, it would be the last of my money I was kissing goodbye, but I did need the script, and I did need not to live at the pharmacy. So I sat in one of the waiting chairs, and called one of my 2 usual cab companies. Sorry--it will be at least 2 hours. Called the other of the 2--got a recording, which meant forget it. Called a cab I used to use, but disliked, but, hey......no matter, they were all booked for the afternoon. During this, the pharmacist was asking me, "Any luck?" and "Got a ride home yet?", and I finally called my black pot neighbot, but the baby was sleeping, etc. I was actually getting scared. A woman came in as I was making my last call, and was waiting for her script, and after my last dejected no, no luck, to Tim the pharm, she said, "Where do you live?" and I told her just a few blocks, and, this being the blog that it is, y'all know the rest. She was a sweet-souled lady whose goodness, I swear, shone from her. When she dropped me at my apartment, she came around the car to help me out, and after I was extricated (knees, remember) I turned, and we hugged each other, and she watched me till I was in the door.

    Odd: two absolute strangers.... Never saw each other before.... Probably never see each other again.... Didn't even talk but a few words...Hugging??

    Sure. Connected.

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