Lately, I’ve been noticing connections in my own life, and how they work both ways. A couple examples:
My daughter is about to start another school year as an elementary teacher. As I helped set up her room, I noticed she gives each kid a job every day; one waters the plants, one takes messages to the office, and so on. That helps everyone feel like they’re a part of the classroom community.
My friend recently moved to an assisted living home. She proudly showed me the hanging basket of flowers she planted. That basket represented how she participates in that community, not just as a client or consumer of care.
These things remind me that giving to others is a virtue, but giving them opportunities to give back is just as important. I tend to focus on how I can work to help others, which is great. But I am guilty of not letting others help me, because I see myself as the independent one who does all the service. My assignment to myself in the next few weeks is to ask for help from friends and family, to let them do something for me that will allow them to feel part of my community.
That’s how I’m going to strengthen connections in my own life. What will you do in yours?