Today I’m thinking about how important human connection is to happiness. This morning as I was madly writing ideas on index cards for the memoir I’m writing, my 85-year-old neighbor came strolling over, leaning on her walking stick. I was glad to see her and take a few minutes to chat.
Author Malcolm Gladwell noted what appeared to be an anomaly about the incidence of heart attacks in his book, Outliers. A little community had an unusually low number of heart attacks and the usual variables like genetics and high cholesterol didn’t seem to apply. Finally, it was concluded that most members of the community felt that they were noticed and supported. Neighbors walking by would wave and say “Hi!” Friends stopped by to see how they were doing. They felt connected to the community. They had a support system. His point was that they were less stressed, hence fewer heart attacks. I’ll add that they were also happier.
The memoir that I’m writing begins when I moved to Ellijay, Georgia, in 1994 following a divorce, looking for a fresh start. I didn’t know anyone there, so I spent time figuring out how to meet some kindred spirits. I started a book discussion group so I could meet other book lovers. Starting with the first meeting, I connected with people like me who liked to read and talk about books.
That connection felt really good. I had a group of people to talk to about a common interest and we had a common goal of reading the selected books. Now that I am writing a memoir that centers on my Ellijay years, I am re-connecting with some of my friends, which has been so rewarding.
Where does connection start? With YOU. Take a little time to do a self-inventory of your likes and interests and go from there. How can you find others who have similar interests to yours? Sure, there’s the usual advice…look in the newspaper for local events or check online for meet-ups.
If you’ve read Think Your Way to Happiness, you can guess that I’m going to suggest that you send out thoughts to attract what you want. Really believe that you can bring people to you. You can. Tell the universe what you want to happen. Thoughts have power.
What or who do you want to attract into your life?