I’ve sometimes pondered this question: Are there people who are starving for significant relationships? We are built for connecting to and depending upon each other. I believe there are ways that we connect that allow us to build relationships that develop a sense of being on this journey called life together; and ways of connecting that more easily perpetuate the trend of people who are starving for significant relationships.
I decided to do a little research, which lead me to a 2006 article in Christianity Today titled “Look at All the Lonely People: A radically old way to reach out to a friendless culture.” This article provided a look into a societal trend that “More and more Americans are starving for significant relationships.” The article goes on to state that “Increasingly, those whom we consider close friends—if we have any—are household members, not people who ‘bind us to community and neighborhood.’ Our wider social connections seem to be shriveling like a turkey left too long in the oven.” WOW, “…..close friends if we have any…,” what a statement!
Think about it. For many, their close relationships are with the people they live with. But what about people who live alone? As the article points out there is a segment of our society that does not have anyone that they consider to be a close friend. What’s a close friend? My definition of a close friend is a relationship that develops a sense of being on this journey called life together, where we risk an emotional association.
Social events and gatherings are often thought of as ways to bring people together to build connections. At these events we tend to move from person to person having “snap shot” conversations providing a Polaroid picture glimpse of ourselves. It’s difficult to have a substantive conversation in a crowded room full of people. And if you are like some people, you leave those gatherings wanting more, something of greater depth and substance.
The question that I ask is if people want greater depth and substance to their conversations and relationships, what’s stopping them from doing that? Here is my theory and it’s really simple. We need opportunities to allow people to be real that create a sense of safety; and teach how to have healthy relationships. You see, we are taught how to do most everything except one of the most important things: how to develop healthy, significant relationships with others.
Here is my call to action. Let’s think out of the box and create opportunities that provide a safe place to learn how to develop substantive, fruitful, healthy, significant relationships. Let us learn how to build connections and relationships that develop a sense of being on this journey called life together.
I’m up for the challenge! How about you?
Published by Linda Garrett-Johnson, The Word Applied, Inc.
Copyright© 2010 Linda Garrett-Johnson & The Word Applied, Inc., All rights reserved.