Craving Connection 1: What’s Wrong with This Scenario?

The young adults in our society today are so transient.  We are constantly moving to attend schools, work, or just for a change.  This scene rings all too familiar with me; since leaving high school, I have had many new beginnings and endings with cities, schools, and work.  I have loved every one though, as I love meeting new people and learning their stories.  It is hard being new in an environment that is already settled.  It is even harder and almost impossible to break into an area when the people of the new place are resistant to change and are unwelcoming in their approach to meeting new people.  Therefore, you have to be persistent and it takes a lot of strength to attend a new setting.  It is hard work, and some people give up.

Wycliffe College Retreat 2009. (c) Arianna's Random Thoughts
Wycliffe College Retreat 2009. (c) Arianna's Random Thoughts

Remember, the nerves you get on the first day of school, work, or showing up to a new sports tryout, religious setting where you know no one?  Well, I heard a scenario the other day that happens in many settings all too regularly I’m afraid.  In September, a student decided to attend a church as she was new to the area and wanted to find a new community to join.  Well, she sat down in a pew seat and some people came up to her; instead of being kind and friendly, they asked her to move, as they had been sitting in that seat for many years and it was THEIR seat.  This happened three times over the next few weeks; finally, the girl decided to leave as the community was very unwelcoming.  I heard the story, and I thought “Wow” and good for her to leave as that community needs to learn a lesson.  If I was in her position, I would have left too.This happens all over in schools (when established groups of people are reluctant to let new people in); sports settings (when athletes or coaches are reluctant to let new people in)….etc. You are getting the picture.   My question is: How can we possibly be growing communities when the existing ones are hesitant to build new connections with people?? I know that many people think that they are being approachable by simply saying “Hi” to the new person.  GO FURTHER. Ask them about themselves and invite them to join some events or go for coffee.Put yourself in the other person’s shoes.  They are new to town, to the school, or to the community and are seeking new connections with people.  How would you like people to interact with you if you were new to a place?  The people are what make any community, whether it be a school, work, religious institution, sports environment, etc.  Creating healthy communities through the development of positive relationships starts with you.

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!