Once I have chosen a theme for my monthly Ho‘ohana, written about it, and shared it with you, the Ho‘ohana Community, it is amazing to me how often it seems to unfold in a life of its own and manifest itself throughout the days of the month.
Many times it’ll happen in the days or even weeks preceding the day Ho‘ohana is published, improving my writing of the Ho‘ohana newsletter itself because it’s already begun to mean something to me personally. Such it has been this month with our theme of community. There is so much happening I feel I can barely keep up, yet it is a state of affairs you’d call a wonderfully good problem to have!
For one thing, there is this blossoming happening in the business communities I’ve participated in here in the blogosphere, and I marvel at the global reach an online community can have, with geographical distance becoming completely irrelevant. Next week I’ve been invited to participate in K.Todd Storch’s forum on “Customer Service: How Can it Improve?” and he has a line-up of writers preparing to share their thoughts with you, whom, to use Todd’s words, are truly all People You Need to Meet. At the same time, Todd’s brother Terry will be presenting a series on “What’s Working?” We are all business people, fascinated by these topics, and we find that our connection of thought is what has created our community’s “neighborhood.”
Like many, some who have written about it far more insightfully, I have been so inspired by the rallying of entire communities who are the forces behind fundraising efforts to support the victims of the Indian Ocean Tsunami. Last night, on the ten o’clock news I heard of one single effort at the Aloha Tower Market Place raising more than $110,000. The faces of those interviewed for the story were faces of people who have intentionally chosen to be part of a larger community of effort, and you could easily see that somehow, the gift they gave became their gift instead.
Then right here on Talking Story, we’ve set the stage for Doug Murata to write his own blog on business. Knowing both of Doug’s rich work experiences and of what he is now involved in, the potential he has to shine a bright light on those he’s directly involved with in his own business community is incredibly exciting to me. Four days after my Ho‘ohana on community was written, the idea to mentor another blogger came to me somewhat serendipitously, yet I am convinced that it emerged from the depths of my own thoughts because I had community on the brain. I know that Doug’s blog, now coming to life on his drawing board, was meant to be. Suddenly, it doesn’t seem like serendipity at all.
So what’s my point? Go with the flow and don’t fight it. Let goodness come into your life. We need community, for as human beings we need to participate. We need to belong to things that are larger than ourselves. It nourishes us, and I would dare to say it prolongs our lifespan, for when you are part of a community you find there are many ways people will admit they need you. There are many other ways they demonstrate it without words. And being there for them is what it’s all about. No matter what how we live and what we devote our work efforts to, we are human beings first and foremost.
I am having so much fun right now with the community involvement I have chosen to participate in, that I must encourage you: create community connections of your own. Make an intentional choice to do so. Desire may be nine tenths of the deal, but intent is that tenth tipping point and catalyst to definitive, active involvement. There are so many possibilities and it’s not difficult to start: you just bring your aloha to the surface, smile, reach out your hand, and say, “Aloha, my name is ””
Trust me, someone will take your hand and welcome you with open arms. They need you.