Relationships and Connections

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I’ve been away from Nepal for a year.  I miss the friends that I made but I’m able to maintain some contact through Facebook.  But also, people who I don’t know are constantly requesting me to be their friend; although, I’m not really sure what being a friend on Facebook actually means.  I understand that it is a method for bringing about more connections and making the world smaller.  I know that my sister and her husband who spend quite a bit of time in Europe use Facebook for business purposes.  I also use Facebook for connecting with the Tucson Lobos (wheelchair basketball) Team members and spreading information about the organization that I’m working for, Iskashitaa Refugee Network and the causes that I believe in.  But I’m not sure that anybody else really cares.  Is it really that important for me to know that someone just woke up and made coffee?   I’m becoming disenchanted with Facebook as a method for connecting and I admire people who have resisted the temptation to be part of this.  Maybe it’s my age but I prefer to talk with people directly.  But I also know that at times, we have to have faith and “partner” with people who we don’t know. 

Recently I’ve had to depend on complete strangers for help.  While I was in India and Nepal I stored my personal items in a friend’s basement in Connecticut.  When I came back to the US the friend asked me to get my items.  In cleaning out my friend’s basement I was able to donate a lot but ended up with 25 boxes and a foot locker, items which I didn’t want to get rid of.  The issue became one of how to get my items from Connecticut to Tucson which is about 4100 km.  I contacted a number of moving companies and although I had a very small load, I still had to pay for a minimum shipment.  This all might seem quite straight forward given the transportation system in the US.  But in the end, I had to “partner” with a number of companies to get this move completed.  The only person that I met during this “adventure” was the truck driver, an Israeli, who delivered my items. 

When I came to Tucson last year I decided that I didn’t want to purchase a car.  I had lived without a vehicle for seven plus years and thought that I could purchase a bicycle, that this would be adequate.  However, after a number of months and knowing that a very hot summer was approaching I decided to buy a used car.  In the seven months that I’ve owned this car I’ve had a number of problems.  A week ago, I went to visit a friend and on the way home I had to have the car towed 20 miles due to mechanical issues.  Again, I had to “partner” with a stranger, a towing company in order to get my car safely to my home.

In the Facebook world, we are often talking to people whom we don’t know.  My sister and brother-in-law are in the music/movie industry and they are often trying to find friends of friends who can help guide them, offer accommodation, etc. in the countries in which they are performing.  This often leads to new connections and hopefully new fans.  This has enabled them to be successful at their life work. 

A week ago I went out for Indian food with a group of people who I meditate with but haven’t really gotten to know.  As I was leaving the meditation I was asked to go out to lunch.  This personal connection helped me to feel part of this community.  Life is all about relationships and connections.  The more that we can find ways to do this, the richer our lives become.  

Position: Programme Manager

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