Robert Putnam, in his book “Bowling Alone” (Simon & Schuster, 2000), talks about how we have become increasingly disconnected from family, friends, neighbors and community. He warns that our stock of “Social Capital“, which is the very fabric of our connections with each other, “has plummeted, impoverishing our lives and communities.”
Putnam also talks about loneliness and how because of changes in our society, in our families and in our work life, we spend much more time by ourselves doing our own thing. He calls this an “epidemic” and challenges us to look at our “social capital” and evaluate our connections.
This past weekend, I had a unique opportunity to do this.
Our family was able to gather with a group of people who “used” to be our community: we lived close, we worked together, we shared life, we grew up together. Then, we all moved away in different directions.
This weekend, we reconnected together for a wedding and we discovered something: WE’RE STILL A COMMUNITY!
Relationships picked up where they left off. There was deep communion and trust. Distance didn’t matter. We all realized that we had solid “social capital”, we had just forgotten it.
We returned home renewed, challenged, reminiscent, and exhausted! We celebrated, we laughed, we cried and we said our goodbyes, again.
But, we remembered.
We were reminded of the power of community, the importance of friendship, the value of these bonds of history.
Instead of simply saying goodbye, we began planning for the next time we’ll come together again.
We NEED to come together. We NEED to share life. It costs money, it takes time, it is sometimes inconvenient, but it is precious!
And to my friends and family from this past weekend, let’s make some more memories!
And to those that couldn’t make it, you were missed, but we’ll see you next time!