How does one keep from growing old inside? Surely only in community. The only way to make friends with time is to stay friends with people…. Taking community seriously not only gives us the companionship we need, it also relieves us of the notion that we are indispensable.~Robert McAfee Brown
I get asked a lot about the 3K plus twitter followers I have. It is actually not an awful lot ( compared to some other bossy pants people I know- I am talking to you Pamela Slim!. They ask me what tools and tips I use…and in all honesty I have to scratch my head a little confused.
I did not do anything different on line than I do in real life.
I try really hard acknowledge and SEE people. To encourage and support people and to value their voices. Mind you I am a raging extrovert so its really easy for me to connect and chat with virtual strangers. In my view there is no such thing as a stranger-just folks I have yet had the pleasure of meeting.
We all want to be seen.
Over the past few weeks I have seen this play it self out in many ways, but at its core its that very human need to be seen. Or should I say SEEN. In past blog post I have talked about the importance of acknowledging everyone in community. Loving them….welcoming them…seeing them.
We all want to be seen.
We all want shared relationships and shared experiences. Shared goals, shared purpose, shared achievement. We all want to be invited in and asked to have a seat at the table. Yet many times we sit, and work among groups feeling isolated and alone.
We all need and desire nourishing connections. We just don’t know how to create them.
We yearn to:
- expand and deepen our circle of friends
- enliven our neighborhood
- revitalize our cities
- build the shared-living community
- renew and celebrate community
Actually we do know how, but it means being vulnerable, and open and at risk .
So I push you today and say So WHAT. So what.
So what if you look goofy, and feel strange when you chat up the person sitting next to you at the coffee shop. So what if you say hello to a stranger on the subway and they ignore you. So what if you ask someone on twitter for a quick Skype get to know you chat and they pass.
So what. YOU are better from having put yourself out there. YOU are stronger and more open…more loving and more true. You were living your values, so how can that be wrong?
So how do you start?
- Pick up the phone and call some one that you have been meaning to connect with.
- Ask someone that you admire or intrigues you out for a cup of coffee
- Attend worship service with a neighbor
- Plant a garden with friends
- Walk your neighborhood or local park without head phones
- Shop at a local farmer’s market
- Say hello to everyone that crosses your path
I challenge you today to see people… and invite them to the table. I invite you to be vulnerable and open..and in doing so make your world richer.
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