The nature of connection

The connections we have and our relationship with them largely determines our lives, moods, and what we see. I think that’s easy to understand at a people level – the conversation we had on the way to work, the person in a hurry who barged past getting on the train, and the mood of those surrounding you at work. So far, so obvious.

But what about the things you own – your clothes, car, and laptop? Your house, your subscriptions, your holidays? All of these have a story all their own, now interwoven with yours. Their history, from the mining of materials and growing of crops, through manufacture and distribution, are all part of somebody else’s story now woven into yours. So there is a long, thin filament of connection reaching out from each of us, connecting us – to each other, the things we own, and the things we take for granted. We have a relationship with each of them, and together they are part of who we are and how we feel today.

It is easy to forget this in our world of reductionist analysis, where artefacts become “things” rather than containers of relationships. Those relationships carry responsibilities with them and expect reciprocity in the form of acknowledgement and hopefully gratitude.

Whatever goes right or wrong today, there is a long chain of relationships and connections that are part of it. We would do well to take just a moment in the day to acknowledge them.

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