I know we are connected

In the past I was chastised by a peer. It concerned giving my opinion about a matter amongst a group of people.  He took me to task because he felt that another person in the group might have been upset regarding my opinion.  Little did my peer know that me and the other person had already connected in another conversation and we were both OK with having opinions that differ.  What really torqued me, besides being talked to like I was a child that needed reprimanding about my behavior, was that the person that upbraided me was really only concerned with ‘making nice’  – so making an artificial connection in lieu of having an actual opinion. As if you cannot respectfully disagree and still maintain a connection.  I dislike that. A lot. I rather loathe disingenuous connections.  It smacks of a slimy ‘yes-man’ mentality.   What is the point of an insincere connection? Networking for the sake of networking with nothing substantial behind it?  I actually hate the term ‘Networking’ – it just sounds insincere.

I think a lot about connections.  I really love connecting with people – if you scratch the surface, ask questions, listen, and observe what is happening around you, I believe you can connect with most anybody.  A sincere connection through finding common ground, to me, is far more valuable than something fake for the sake of getting something in return – like a name to drop.  The real connections are the ones that last – that give our lives meaning.  That allows us to get along with others of different backgrounds and philosophies. To learn more about the world around us and expand our minds.

When I read people’s bucket lists, they often seem to revolve around travel. But mine is not that. Mine seems to revolve around meeting/knowing people.  I really do love people – a class is better if there are people in there I want to be around or a teacher that I adore; a job is wonderful when there are people there that I want to spend my time with; my life is richer when the people around me are people I care about.  I love easily – it sounds kind of dippy, but it’s true.   I thrive on good conversation. It doesn’t always have to be intense or deeply philosophical – in fact, I’m rather more about laughing than being solidly serious – but it has to be sincere.  It has to be genuine.  I know no other way.

In my work, I deal with people mainly via email. I always have different quotes, mostly musical, in my email signature. Often someone will remark on a particular quote and that starts off a back and forth which leads to finding some common ground and that morphs into something solid.  Just revealing a little bit about yourself through a music quote, for instance, can be the catalyst to something nourishing.  Something that goes beyond just working with another client. That connection is alive and vital – it pulls down the barriers that block communication and opens up your world to something new.   It often leads to a feeling of loyalty.  If your job depends on the goodwill of others to seek out your services, isn’t it much more likely that they will want to continue to work with you because you are connected? Because you took the time to work with that person in a sincere manner – that you truly cared about something that has meaning to them?  I feel that it’s true.

One of the reoccurring patterns in my life seems to be the ‘small world story’ occurrences.  The other day, my son started a therapeutic class with three other children and it turns out that one of the moms does hot yoga with me.  Were we meant to connect prior to our children connecting?  Or is it simply a matter of being aware of the people I take yoga with, and then recognizing them in another setting?  I don’t know.  But I often feel drawn to people and find that they come into my life one way or another.  In general, I feel very connected to the people around me.  I feel it in my face to face relationships as well as my virtual ones.   And I’m not saying I need to connect with every human being I come across – but I find that I need to have people in my life and most of them, I want to connect with on a personal level.

I remember years ago, doing some hypnotherapy for weight loss (mostly for slowing down my eating) and the woman I was working with told me that I seem to spend a lot of my time in a semi-hypnotic state- being very suggestible to the environment around me.  Maybe that’s it – maybe I’m just taking in what people are giving off. I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll cluck like a chicken if you ask me- I don’t know (hee hee)… And like much that I ramble about, there’s really no rhyme or reason for what I’m writing – I just wanted to put it on paper and see where it goes.

So when we met, either here or face to face, chances are that we are connected in some fashion or another.  I look forward to finding that connection and welcoming you into my life.

About Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher

I'm a research librarian for Public Television, story teller, bike commuter, baker, music fiend, lover of reading & books, mother, wife, friend - and many more descriptive adjectives and nouns.
This entry was posted in Bikram Yoga, Blogging, Children, Coincidence, connections, Humor, love, Philosophy, Random Thoughts, Society, Teachers, Writing, Yoga and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

92 Responses to I know we are connected

  1. Amy Reese says:

    Denise, I feel that we are very connected so much so that I’m sure we would hit off if we were to meet. I do feel people are destined to cross paths somehow, that people are in your life for a reason. I just know this! Ha ha.

  2. stephrogers says:

    I think everyone comes into our lives for a reason. We are connected to all the people we need to have contact with via some sort of invisible thread. They end up in our lives in one way or another. And I totally agree that those connections need to be genuine. There is no point having a half relationship. If you’re going to get to know someone the only way is to be honest. I am brutally honest, but the upside of that is that if I’m giving you a compliment you know I mean it.

    • Exactly – I’m like that – I’m all in. The downside to that is that I’ve had to learn, the hard way, that not everyone wants to be ‘all in’ and I have to pull back. Or it’s not in my best interest to be ‘all in’ – and that, for me. is the hardest part…reigning myself in when it’s not ‘right’.

  3. bethteliho says:

    I love the idea that people wander into your life for a Reason. I’m always amazed when I meet someone, and we end up having this amazing thing in common that we would have never known under any other circumstances. It’s kismet. That sort of thing happens to me all the time. great post!

  4. I love this; I saw this wonderful video a while ago of random people getting into a ball pit together and finding common ground. I thought of how many conversations I’ve had with folks over the years where we’ve found something to talk about; whether you agree or not you can at least connect with people by considering your own opinion against theirs.
    As for the interaction with your peer; I have never really thought about that, but I have come across situations like that and I never really understood why it didn’t sit well until just now. No one should deny you an opinion to make nice. Genuine interest and respect trumps any difference of opinion when it comes to human relations.
    What are your thoughts on corndogs?

    • Well, they are food on a stick – but I’m not a fan of hotdogs – my husband, on the other hand, would probably knock down a pregnant woman for a corndog.

      I think of it as “middle child syndrome” – where they just want everyone to ‘get along ‘ – now I don’t like contention but this wasn’t a contentious situation – just people shooting the breeze about what music/movies/tv they like.

      I love you thoughts on connections!

  5. djmatticus says:

    I’ve never understood that… We don’t all have to agree on everything. Why do we need to be mindful of everyone else’s likes and dislikes… that isn’t how the world works. I’m not sure I’d have been able to hold my temper with your peer.

  6. Twindaddy says:

    It’s cool, because even the Bowie sucks we’re still friends!! 😉

  7. I’ve always hated networking. Some people are really good at it and they seem to be able to forge a deeper connection despite the shallow small talk that’s always involved when it’s work related. I love how you love to connect to people and anyone who spends any time with you (in person or online) knows that your interest is genuine. You also respect boundaries so it would be hard for you to offend someone. It sounds like your peer was reflecting their fears onto you.

    • hee hee – I spent a bit of time getting my hand caught in the fire for being a bit too free with my mouth (gossip) and I’ve had to learn the hard way how to learn when to shut it … which is not always successful!

      I think the people that are good at networking, like you say, are fast at making those connections via small talk.

      🙂 Have a great day!

  8. I adore connecting with others…great post! ♥

  9. rossmurray1 says:

    Only connect, as E.M. Forster wrote, whatever the hell that means.
    You are blessed to be able to feel this connection with people. For other people it’s much harder. And by “other people” I of course mean me.

  10. Excellent post. Firstly, I hate the word networking too, I didn’t realise why I hated it till I read this post. I thought I hated it because I’m an introvert and it’s a pretty unintroverted thing to do, but I realise now that the main reason I hate it is because it sounds so contrived and, as you say, insincere, it reeks of – let’s see who I can find who might be useful to me. Yuck.

    As I understand it, humans are wired to seek out connections, not just with people, but between things and events, that’s why we’re so alert to coincidences – whether we believe that they are more than just coincidences or not, our radars are always seeking them out to make connections between them. There was a guy in England who won a huge amount on the Euromillions lottery at the weekend (£108m), and the media keep playing on this thing that he says he predicted he was going to win this weekend – well you know what, in all seriousness, I predict I’m going to win the lottery every weekend. We notice the times when events are connected and we think “wow, that must be more than coincidence!” but we don’t notice the far more often occasions where the connection isn’t there. I think I’ve gone slightly off track here, but never mind…

    • That’s why I have adore you – I love tangents too!

      Yes Networking is very contrived – I love that word…(contrived) – and I think you’re spot-on about connecting events – coinkidink? meant to be? or just in the realm of probability b/c we think it’s going to happen all the time? WHO KNOWS! That’s the fun of life. There’s always a surprise in the cracker jack box –

  11. Has it come to that? We can’t express a difference of opinion for fear of insulting?! My mom’s side of the family are old-world Italians. I’m only a second-generation American. I can assure you that that hyper-sensitivity has not made its way to the old country. They embrace a good debate. My uncle said that’s why they invented menus. We all want something different.

    I could never allow myself to be hypnotized. I couldn’t surrender complete control of my conscience and subconscious to a stranger. I’m wound too tight for that sort of danger.

    The words “hot” and “yoga” kind of jumped off my screen. I’ve seen each word before but I don’t recall ever seeing them together like that. Imagine what popped into my mind!

  12. Vicki Wright says:

    ANOTHER FANTASTIC, THOUGHT PROVOKING, AND VERY COOL POST! Now I know why I like your blogging and your writing and YOU so much ….. and is because you are GENUINE! You are funny and your stories, musings, and opinions are ALSO very interesting to me! I CERTAINLY ALSO FEEL CONNECTED TO YOU TOO – and in our “connection” you certainly don’t have to like the same movies I like or vice versa. In fact, I would find it a lot less interesting to be “connected” to someone exactly like me….in fact, I think I’d be bored to know someone with all the exact same feelings, opinions, and likes & dislikes I have. (I already know about all those things……well, as much as I know myself, I guess.) And altho I can “bond” with you over certain like-minded things, but ANY REAL CONNECTION OR BOND IS BASED ON LIKING THE PERSON (not all of the individual’s likes & dislikes ). When you “like” someone, you also respect, admire, trust, and enjoy that person too. In fact, I find you to be the very interesting person I know – just as much for our differences as our “sameness”. Like you…..I feel most “connected” to people who I BELIEVE TO BE THE REAL DEAL….AND WHO CAN TEACH ME SOMETHING NEW, WHO ENRICHES MY DAY OR MY LIFE , AND SOMEONE WHO ALSO ACCEPTS ME AS I AM ….AND I DO THE SAME………and over the years I’ve known you (professionally & personally) and in our interactions, I know you ARE THE REAL DEAL! (One of these days, I hope that we will meet “in person”…. and altho we haven’t had that opportunity yet , I KNOW we would have that special “connection” just the same ….. as each “connection” is as unique as the parties involved. The fact I’ve not had the honor of meeting in person ALSO in NO way diminishes my “connection” I feel WITH you. Neither will your dislike of a movie I DO LIKE. Thanks for an insightful and amusing post, as ALWAYS….. and my unsolicited “advice” is to just have a BIG OL BELLY LAUGH at the silly person who chose to “reprimand” you for stating an opinion that may be contrary to another’s ….. as that is well, ….it is just plain silly on their part. BTW: I highly doubt if you found out that I cried like a blubbering idiot and more than once when I saw Titanic, that we would then lose our “connection”…..no more than I would really care that you happen to hate the movie. I also really like strawberry ice cream and if you hate it, so what? So be it. Guess what, I still like YOU! In fact, these things would have absolutely NO effect on what I recall as my seemingly instant feeling of “connection” I experienced with you too! It was that “something” beyond good “customer service” too, perhaps your quirky sense of humor, or more likely, it was my sense that you were GOOD PERSON and A GENUINELY GOOD PERSON! : D (Ignore others who don’t want you to be your authentic self …. instead, continue to heed those wise, wise words……to thine own self be true! )

    • Vicki – you’re like amazing – I love that your comments tend to be close to being entire posts!! I totally feel a connection to you both as a friend and one professional to another. Thanks for making my day!! I hope we meet in person too – I wish APT or PBS would have a conf in Tucson or Phoenix.

  13. Paul says:

    AS a fellow “Aries-ian” I applaud connections, commonness, and food-on-a-stick. (I once had a girl friend who tried to give me lessons on how to eat without getting any on me – turns out food-on-a-stick was the best answer. Yum.) And HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  14. El Guapo says:

    Amen. I bet your peer goes far, through networking and yes-manning.
    Meanwhile, you and I will be connecting (and having much more fun) by doing Berlioz’ Symphonie Fantastique in chicken clucks.

  15. NotAPunkRocker says:

    I was supposed to be an Aries…goofy doctors inducing my mother early *kicks rock*

    Strengthening and finding new ways to stay connected are the best things once the initial connection is established. 🙂

  16. Let’s not talk about how we connected once, and just keep connecting in other ways.

  17. unfetteredbs says:

    Keeping things real and honest is the only way to connect. Food on a stick? Mmm

  18. Food on a stick? Woooot! I so agree with you on this. Just today I was in a meeting and we have this ONE LADY who is so irritating. It’s always “we don’t want to have food cause like someone might not be able to have certain foods” Yeah, so???? Or we can’t give an award because maybe not everyone will get one. Yeah, soooo??? We’re freaking adults. Quit being nicey nice cause it means nothing then!!! Um, sorry. She just annoys me.

    But it compares, I think, to the whole “Don’t talk about that issue cause someone will get hurty feelings.” Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s bad form to be purposely awful, like say spouting a racist diatribe or something. But constantly trying to please everyone and never offend someone? You’ll never write or say a thing.

  19. Carrie Rubin says:

    Connection–it’s a funny thing. Some people feel connected to everything and everyone; others feel that despite our daily interactions we’re all ultimately alone. Suppose it depends on one’s mindset. And now, I’d really like to hear you cluck like a chicken…

  20. Bill Hayes says:

    A couple of thoughts. I suspect people chose travel, not only because they want to see things, but when away, we can be ourselves or our other selves (we can be who we like) Travel offers that possibility. I have sometimes been on late night flights across an ocean; all fellow passengers asleep, I awake, (movies to watch, bookes to read notes to make) it is one of the few times I can be at the centre of my own universe.

    I love your idea of random musical signatures in emails. A great way to sidestep the email message and connect in another way.

  21. The Cutter says:

    Wait…what’s food on a stick day? Is this a real thing?

  22. praw27 says:

    it’s all about connection…and there are no coincidences!

  23. We’ll be even more connected in 10 days!

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