Where does connection come from, really? We sense it. We might describe it as “having something in common,” or “caring about one another,” or “meaning something to each other,” mattering.

If we put it that way, then it seems clear that it must grow out of something real. Almost as if it is already there, before we know it, waiting to be discovered. Because to “have something in common” we would actually have to have something in common. If we didn’t have anything in common, if we were in fact unlike one another, it would be hard to feel something we’d call “connection.” To care about one another, we would actually need to care.

And yet, we think this “connection” is something we need to build, or at least, to nurture. We think we could have it with anyone, if we “made the effort.” We could have it with more people if we thought about it more. (“We need to be intentional.”) We could maintain it better if we did the right things. (“We need to reach out.”)

If we put it that way, then it seems clear that connection comes from what we do, even more than it comes from “how we are.” Although how we are and what we do are … connected.

red line embellished

Image: “Dogwood,” in fall, Virginia State Parks, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons