In our world of networked information, the value of ‘connectedness’ is highly prized. The ongoing push to achieve global highspeed internet access in even the remote locations is framed as a way of ‘connecting’ humanity on a global scale. Our lives are digitally connected through social networks line Facebook and LinkedIn, to the extent these platforms impact our employability and social cachet.
In our world of networked information, the value of ‘connectedness’ is highly prized. The ongoing push to achieve global highspeed internet access in even the remote locations is framed as a way of ‘connecting’ humanity on a global scale. Our lives are digitally connected through social networks like Facebook and LinkedIn, to the extent that these platforms impact our employability and social cachet.
While the language of connectivity is ubiquitous and seemingly baked into the everyday processes of our lives, little thought seems to be given to the meaning of connection at a deeper level, beyond an understanding of humanity as data. After all, there are emotional, spiritual connections that are impossible to quantify or encapsulate with words, connections that hold greater value than mere usefulness.
Perhaps the most fundamental of these is our connection to ourselves. Do we feel this connection, or, when we stop to really think about it, do we find that we are alienated from our thoughts and actions? Taking time to pause, listen and reconnect with our sense of self can be a valuable exercise when we are starting to feel lost or overwhelmed with life.
Similarly, what about our connection to our family, our work, our local environment? Are we actively engaging with the people, places, and activities in our lives, or are we operating on autopilot? Being in connection helps us find our place in life, to find our contribution. Thinking about these connections opens us up to questions about what we can do to support these bonds, how we can establish connection, reinforce it, or bring it to the fore of our thoughts and actions.
Connection is about more than just a link. After all, we are linked to the people and situations around us without having to actively engage with that link. We are members of our family even if we feel no connection to it, we show up and work even if our mind is somewhere else. Connection is about taking a link and activating it, turning it from a passive, relational tie into an active process of intention. Within connection there is an invitation to greater possibilities, to discover, to create, to unfold into more expansive and fulfilling relationships with every aspect of our lives and our-selves.
When we forge connections and maintain them, be they conceptual, relational, psychological or emotional, we are stepping into a life beyond the bounds of pure self and meeting the world head on. We are choosing possibilities, potentialities, exploring our place and playing our part in the world.