It pays to know people. It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. It pays to have connections.
Unfortunately, those sayings are usually applied to situations in which someone received favors that are not available to everybody. But we all would do ourselves a favor by staying connected.
That’s what author Randy Frazee says in his book, Making Room for Life. We can’t live a long, healthy, happy life without connected relationships. He backs up his claim with results from a number of studies.
Frazee says we need to stay connected to the community, to our families, to our friends. It really does pay to know people — people who know and love us.
Trouble is, many people are too busy to stay connected. They’re driving kids to ball practice, working late at night, attending meetings, going to this function and that function. They pick up some fast food, have just a few minutes at home before bedtime, and it’ll be the same routine tomorrow. They don’t have time, as Frazee puts it, “to soak in life and deep friendships. (They’re) always running around trying to get to the next event.”
Such an existence presents two major problems. “First,” he says, “our busy lifestyles stimulate a toxic disease called crowded loneliness. But there’s an even deeper problem. In our original design we were created with a connection requirement. If this requirement is not met, we will die.”
That got my attention.
Seriously, when was the last time you attended a family reunion? When was the last time you sat out on your front porch and visited with your neighbors? When was the last time you telephoned someone who was special to you in your younger life? When was the last time you went out of your way to make new friends? When was the last time everyone in your family got together for no particular reason?
I’m not preaching here, because I couldn’t pass that test, either.
Did you know that the average Bedouin lives to be over 100 years old? The nomad’s simple diet is part of the reason why, but the bigger reason probably is the absence of stress.
I vote for a little stress myself. And most of us wouldn’t choose the lifestyle of a Bedouin, who lives in a tent, watches his livestock eat all the vegetation in sight, sits around a fire at night with the folks and no TV, and then goes to sleep on a makeshift bed. When the vegetation is gone, he pulls up stake and moves on.
But you must admit: the Bedouin is connected, not by email, not by texting, not even by telephone. He or she is connected directly to the people who count.
I’m mostly retired now, the girls are grown and gone, and I have more time and less stress than in my younger days.
Still, I’ve learned something from Frazee’s book. I’ll think more about it after I’ve had my nap.