Sunday, November 7, 2010
Community ... The Art Of Networking
Luncheon of the Boating Party
At one time, folks all lived in small communities and everyone knew each other. Even in large cities, people lived in specific areas and everyone worked, lived, and socialized within their own community. Everyone knew everyone else, people visited back and forth in each other's homes and there was a real sense of belonging. Even in my small town, I lived in a neighbourhood, and I knew all the people on Latham Road, Beaufort Street, Ian Avenue, Tebo Avenue... They were my neighbours. Since the advent of cars and jet planes, people have slowly become more polarized. Friends and even families lose touch with each other. We now come into each other's homes via the telephone or the internet. The more secluded we become in our day-to-day lives, the more isolated we become from each other. Usually the topic of conversation at work is who was booted off "Dancing With the Stars" the night before. Instead of interacting with each other, we are interacting with our TV sets, and we get together with friends less and less frequently. Soon we all become strangers.
The Dinner Party
Yesterday on her blog Alane told the story of Anna* who was rebuilding her life. She did this by holding a soirée at her home, and inviting all the people -- friends and acquaintances -- she had known. Anna was very shy, and it took a lot of courage for her to do this, but she did it. Few of the people at Anna's soirée knew each other before that evening. Afterwards, however, I think some friendships were made, with Anna being the common denominator.
Le Moulin de la Galette
I think about all the friends I have made over the years, since elementary school, and I keep in touch with most of them -- but usually by e-mail. I will often get an e-mail at work from my friend on Vancouver Island, or my friends here in Vancouver will send me e-mails. We chat back and forth, and sometimes we will go for dinner together or to a movie, or some other social event, but we rarely -- if ever -- visit each other's homes. For some reason, our communities have become fractured. So, with the holiday season coming up, I have decided to host a soirée at my home, and invite all the people I have lost contact with over the past few months and years. Of course, my treehouse is so tiny, folks will have to sit in perches in the trees outside, and hopefully there will be no snow -- but everyone will be well-armed with a warm fireplace and some hot rum.
Staying connected is so important, because in the long run we are social animals, and we need the sense of community that other people provide us. And yes, you're all invited...