This idea of a shared group of common bonds that tie us all together is really difficult right now. Especially in isolation. But, maybe it is not. Maybe this time of sheltering at home for weeks on end has made us realize how special our relationships we have, even ones that hang by a thread, are very important to our well-being. Even us that might be introverted still crave relationships.
I shared a definition of kinship on the last post I just put up. I found another that I would like to set this post up with:
“The word kinship has many different meanings. It’s not just about the family we are born into, it’s about the connections we share with those around us. Now perhaps more than ever, we need to notice our collective light so that we can brighten the way for each other. Experience your own light by seeing it in others.”– Holstee
Our friends can become like family. Our family we’re usually pretty close to. There are different meanings. But, what’s universal about kinship is how we’re all related and can connect on some level if we just open up and learn about each other. Think about the closest relationship you can recall you have in your life now. That person may or may not still be in your life. But, how and why did that relationship come about? Remembering mine, it was a struggle that I was trying to overcome. This person was a master at overcoming my struggle. I wanted to learn from them, let them coach me so I could overcome this struggle. They were integral to my success and eventually overcoming the struggle. Afterwards, this coach continued to stay in my life and I had the opportunity to return the favor.
“Pull a thread here and you’ll find it’s attached to the rest of the world.”– Nadeem Aslam
What helps me stay connected to this idea of kinship is understanding that societies and relationships are better or grow because I realize that each is a part of the whole. I’ve learned to watch, listen, and ask questions that bring out the specialized skills that can help the whole out. I’m not great at repairing technology, but I know some friends who are incredible at it. I’m good at learning fast on how technology works. Together our combined efforts can teach entire groups to learn. Maybe this analogy might help. Software with out the hardware is just software after all. But, when the two are brought together, it has the power to unlock communities or enrich lives. Alone, they’re just the potential of themselves.
There’s something to be said about virtual or in person groups when they get together that establishes or clarifies what an individual believes. I found my belief, my true belief, by bouncing it off and understanding others perspectives on their beliefs. Through the friction of sharing together what we believe or what we don’t, we can fine tune our own. It gets really special when that kinship creates a common belief that we all subscribe to in our connections together. When different beliefs even, can bring inclusiveness or innovation to entire groups of others.
“The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, not the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when you discover that someone else believes in you and is willing to trust you with a friendship.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
What’s great about this idea of friendship through kinship is that it can happen virtually. Even in shelter in place moments, we can reach out. Using technology we can tap into chat rooms, create Group FaceTime like connections, and learn to reach any remote area of our life that has the capability to do so. For some, we’re discovering how useful some of these new ways to connect is for the very first time. Even after we return to somewhat normal ways to connect, it’s my belief that we will continue to use these new discoveries to stay in touch with one another. We will discover isolation again, albeit not forced, and will now be able to overcome it together better or faster.
The podcast I will be getting up on The Well I’m going to share my learns around shared identity which to me us what I believe fuels or strengthens our bonds of kinship. Finding shared identity in one another is the cement of really strong resilient communities.
Thank you for reading. Love to know how you’re keeping kinship alive in this current climate so it can be shared here on IBtP with others to try. Hope you have a great weekend!