verb (used with object)
1. to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind: to connect the
two cities by a bridge; Communication satellites connect the
local stations into a network.
2. to establish communication between; put in communication:
Operator, will you please connect me with Mr. Jones?
3. to have as an accompanying or associated feature:
pleasures connected with music.
4. to cause to be associated, as in a personal or business relationship:
to connect oneself with a group of like-minded persons;
Our bank is connected with major foreign banks.
5. to associate mentally or emotionally: She connects all telegrams with bad news.
I am one very arrogant individual [I can hear you nodding your head in agreement to this stated fact]. It isn’t very useful, this arrogance issue, not even in being the owner of a company [a myth that has now been debunked], but it is a haunting feature that follows me throughout my life. Part of the arrogance issue it the mind block that you can do anything and everything on your own, that you don’t need anyone else to assist you…
I’ve got this…
I cannot explain to you how many times, in between making sandwiches and stirring tea pots that during the month of June last year I would walk into the backroom of my little Subway, shaking, and just whisper through the whimpers of my voice,
I’ve got this…
Of course the harsh reality is that I didn’t have it, in fact; I didn’t even have a clue on what was going on, let alone what I was going to do with my life as the roof collapsed and the heart dried up.
History tells us that I wound up moving, relocating to my ‘roots’ after a six year exile. I had to start over, and I started over by doing the one thing that I refused to do while living down south; I connected.
I started to check out businesses, stopping in as a ‘usual’ customer at several stops; most notably the Starbucks in town. I started attending and began to pour time into MoVal, and the byproduct of that was coaching the U-8 Peeps soccer program, in turn being partly what spurned the development of the Kansas City Shock. I didn’t refuse a single opportunity that came my way; I watched soccer games in Columbia, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas. Met Hope Solo, and wrote reports after reports. I spent hours in Subway’s [still do], and I limit how much time I spend in my own home.
If I connect to as many people as I do via Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn; then why can’t I do the same in real life? What’s more powerful? Technology is always on the hinge of the next great thing, but truthfully it’ll never be as great as communication and connection through ways of the human face. I spent time and money going to the movies, out to eat with friends, and while it wasn’t always the smartest financial choice; I started to fall back in love with the human element.
I was bitter, angry, and spiteful towards humanity; far before the divorce. Bluntly, I had placed myself on a thrown above the rest of humanity [go ahead and laugh], trying to convince myself that I was smarter, more charming, and just overall better than anyone else. I find this mindset ironic considering how much I claimed to be a Christian [Jesus said something about humbling yourself and being last...just saying...]. I was a mess, and I removed myself from humanity.
How can I call myself a follower of Christ, one who can love, one who can demonstrate compassion; if I don’t even interact with God’s creature?
In the past year it’s become evident of how important it is to continue to interact with everyone I come in contact with. Whether that be wisdom from Texas with K8 down south, or flying in from Maryland to take Darco to church, or humoring Dur over a cup of coffee. When you connect, similar to eliminating yourself, you instantly deny yourself of importance. When I’m meeting with anyone, for whatever reason, my life, my excitement, my “story” is all on the back burner. Let’s face it, I know my story, and I’m kind of bored of having only that story in my mind. I want to know the other stories. I want to know about the couple who built a house together, nail by nail. The kid who grew up paying the bills because her parents wouldn’t, and the orphanage in Guatemala that started as a vision in the mind and soul of one man in the sticks of the Great Plains.
Those stories would never be known if I had refused the concept of connecting to the world around me. Furthermore, anyone knows that this past year hasn’t been easy street at all times, there have been several demons that have crept up to mess with me throughout the months, and the true test has been, when the chips are down, when the wallet is empty, do I have the humbleness to lean on those I have connected to? Am I mellow enough to place my pride aside and just say, “I need help?” My record isn’t perfect, and I haven’t scored 100%, but it is getting better.
Throughout this painful, fascinating recovery; without connecting to those around me, discovering a new world untouched, I would have left myself to rot in my own quickly degrading grave.
How beautiful are those who cling onto hope, stretch out their hand, and dare to believe in the impossible.