Happiness is Making Connections and Having an Impact
Where there is no human connection, there is no compassion. Without compassion, then community, commitment, loving-kindness, human understanding and peace all shrivel. Individuals become isolated, the isolated turn cruel and the tragic hovers in the forms of domestic and civil violence. Art and literature are antidotes to that. ~ Susan Vreeland
So it’s Saturday night and I’m going to be out of town for a few days starting tomorrow so I needed to get my Sunday night post nailed down and I had NOTHING! I’m not in a mood to write an uplifting and positive post, because honestly it’s been a long week. I had surgery on Monday and it seems to have gone ok, but the antibiotics I’m taking are really tearing up my stomach, but I’m adjusting. I’m having to sleep on my left side and it’s been wholly uncomfortable and I’m not sleeping well. I’ve also hit that point before an adventure where I haven’t quite left my old life and haven’t quite entered my new life and so right now I just have a million things to do and I’m feeling just a bit overwhelmed and in limbo.
Then earlier this week one of the few celebrities I truly look up to, Anthony Bourdain committed suicide. Like a lot of other people his stories touched me, he was a kindred spirit in his outlook about the world and I’ll miss having him out there. His passing has really made me sad. I know that feeling of hopelessness and feeling completely disconnected from the world and whenever my mood shifts to the darker side of things that’s the way I feel. I’m sorry he couldn’t find his way back from that abyss. If you find yourself there friends reach, people care, I promise. If nothing else you can always reach out to the suicide prevention hotline., by phone or even by chat.
Available 24 hours everyday
So all of this is swirling around in my head tonight and I can’t figure out what to write and then bam, I get a message. The message was in the form of a poem from someone I grew up with. The poem talked about how he joined our lunch discussions in high school, little did I know it had been to escape bullies. We reconnected in the last year or so and he liked my poetry, even served as a reader for my book of poetry and recently he began sharing his own poetry, so we’ve reconnected on a whole new level. His message gave me some credit for inspiring him to share his words and it really deeply touched me to know that I had that effect on him in any way. It’s funny how we often don’t know the impact we have on the people around us.
Making connections and having impacts
So that’s what I want to talk about tonight, connection and impact. Recently I was at a friend’s house and I was talking with someone who I’ve met before but hadn’t really talked with in detail. She started asking about my life and after a time said to her husband, “we’re living wrong.” Now I disagree with the statement but I got the sentiment, she wants to be doing the type of things I do. That’s what I hope this blog does for people at one level, that by writing about what I do and how I do it, others may gain some inspiration to create their own adventures and live happier lives and I’m always available for individual advice on how to do it.
Tell someone they mattered
As an educator, I’ve been fortunate enough a couple of times to have students return after a time and tell me about the positive impact I’ve had on their life. There is little in life that is as satisfying as those moments. It’s a really special thing to know you’ve had that kind of positive impact on another human’s life and unfortunately at times I forget that as an educator and a writer, that’s what I’m trying to do and sometimes I’m successful.
The thing is that we often have this impact on people without trying or ever even knowing about it and that’s ok. Sure, it’s magnificent when we find out, and the lesson is there that you need to tell the people who have inspired you, who’ve meant something to you. You will be doing them an incredible kindness. But we inspire people by our example. By living a life that has purpose, that is about living, not just existing, you show others how important it is to live that way and the happiness and fulfillment it can bring. You become an example for others, especially your children. There is a parallel from the education world, parents who go to college and include their children in their homework sessions and make them feel apart of the process, hugely increase the chance those kids will also go to college. Similarly, parents who live a purposeful and happy life are more likely to raise children with a similar outlook.
Living Fully and Reaching Out
The companion piece to living fully is to make connections, to connect with those who come along and to reach out to those who you can have an impact on. In my line of work I get access to students, faculty and even younger managers who I can reach out to and help find their path. But we all have people in our lives where this opportunity presents itself, jump on it friends. Take the time to listen, to care and to impart some wisdom if you have it to give, you never know how impactful your time and attention can be for someone.
Tonight has certainly been one of those nights where in writing this blog I hopefully gave you something worth reading but selfishly I gained more out of it than I gave. Regardless, I hope it helps you have a happy day my friends. ~ Rev Kane