A manifesto is a “public declaration of one’s intentions.”
I couldn’t resist including mine.
I hope you enjoy.
The world today’s children live in is not the same one we were born into years ago. Something, we sense, has changed.
Maybe it’s the rise of big box stores or the loss of front porch America. Maybe it’s the slow-extinction of elevator small talk as people ritually check their phones between floors.
Today’s life is rushed; ripe with opportunities to multi-task. Doing two…or three…or even FIVE things at once? This–we tell ourselves–is superior.
Secretly, truth be told, we are not be 100% comfortable with how things are changing.
We have a sneaking suspicion that we were intended to experience life more slowly…to take the time to love bigger, to cherish the people around us, to relate to others more deeply.
We’re afraid we’re missing something.
That we’re short-changing our lives.
That one day we’ll have regrets.
But sometimes we feel pushed–forced forward–by our surroundings. As if the planet is speeding away from the way things were.
And we, just passive riders, are given no option to change course.
But I don’t buy that we’re destined to be distracted, disconnected prisoners in our own futures. And neither should you.
Humans are designed for connection. We are programmed to reach toward others, to grab on, to slip, fall short and reach again.
No matter how the world evolves, this will still be true.
Over the past few years, I’ve become a bit of a relationship enthusiast. I’m not a prodigy–one of those people who naturally attracts crowds to their side.
But I’ve learned enough while immersing myself in the subject to want to take a stand. To assert that each of us is free to move toward a more connected way of living.
That we can choose to invest in the quality of our relationships; to intentionally nurture community for ourselves and our families.
To refuse to sell ourselves and our world short.
To insist on living vividly aware of the value we bring to each other.
I believe that…
• Relationships are vital for well-being.
• Our lives lose quality in disconnectedness.
• We become stronger when we live and act together.
• We cannot make a move without affecting each other.
• When we take care of our communities, we take care of our world.
• Friendship is the building block of community.
I also believe that…
• No one should be excluded.
• No one should be oppressed.
• No one should feel alone.
• Having 4,000 Facebook friends is not the same thing as being known by one face-to-face person.
I want to spend the next thousand days convincing you that…
• Although we’re all uniquely ourselves, the principles of friendship are roughly the same for all of us.
• We can learn to practice connectedness and develop better relational habits.
• We can replace detachment with attachment.
• We can simplify our lives and make space for people.
• We can band together to make our world, and the part of the world we share with others, a richer and more connected place.
Although this site devotes a lot of space to the basic building blocks of community, it’s more than just a “how to” for “making friends” or “influencing people.” It’s no more a site about social skills than Lord of the Rings is a story about jewelry or Star Wars is a story about spaceship operation.
This is a long-running invitation to join the historic band of people whose lives have resulted in extraordinary displays of brotherhood and sisterhood.
It is a call to recover the kind of meaningful relationships humans were intended to have.
And it is a celebration of the possibility that lies before every group of humans: the opportunity to move from strangers to family.
You are all welcome here. This is a journey we take together.