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Something Inspiring: Connected

{Something Inspiring is a series of short posts that highlight an article, photo, or video that inspired me. Enjoy!}

Right now I’m only reading a few blogs and one of those is by Gwen Bell. In her most recent post, she pointed readers toward a commencement speech by Tiffany Shlain. Shlain’s words made me cry and remember the core lessons I learned at TEDx.

In the speech, Shlain talked about interdependence, doing good work, and dying. She noted, “For centuries we’ve been declaring our independence, perhaps it’s time to finally declare our interdependence.”

Right now I’m working on a chapter in my book about community building and Shlain’s comment resonated with me on a deep level. And it also left me wondering about you.

How are you connected to your community? What projects are you working on that have the greatest impact? Please share your story in the comments section.

A quick note: Consider subscribing to the letter. If that’s not an option, sign-up for free updates. Also, take a peek at my about page. I updated it a few days ago and also added a new page dedicated to the little house.

Don’t forget to watch Shlain’s speech and take a peek at the trailer to her new film. It’s called Connected!

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • April September 15, 2011, 9:23 am

    Hi, Tammy:

    I love the Connected idea, and just wanted to let readers know there’s a free showing of the film in Portland on Monday. Please email me if you are interested in attending this event.

    • Tammy Strobel September 15, 2011, 1:09 pm

      @April – I’d love to attend! I’ll send you an email. 🙂

  • traci sabia September 15, 2011, 9:56 am

    i watched the speach. very moving

  • Katie | Momentum Gathering September 15, 2011, 12:11 pm

    I find the greatest impact comes when the connection feels like its one-on-one – even those made on a blog, twitter, or in a forum can feel quite personal and meaningful because ideas and insights are exchanged and a dialogue of understanding opens between two people. I volunteer in that same capacity – one-on-one mentorship. It’s what helps me connect in a heartfelt way. Thanks for the inspiration, Tammy.

  • Kate September 15, 2011, 4:15 pm

    I read a lot about “Social Capital” as an undergrad….it’s a very interesting topic and there are plenty of studies that show it’s a very good thing to have. People who are higher in social capital (i.e. have more connections with friends, family, neighbors, community members, etc.) report having a better quality of life. They also report less depression and are likely to be physically and mentally healthier. The more connected a neighborhood is, the safer it becomes and there is less graffiti, litter, etc. I recommend reading “Bowling Alone” by Robert Putnam. I don’t 100% agree with everything he says, but it’s a very interesting book.

    • Holli September 15, 2011, 8:24 pm

      This facscinates me. I live in an ethnically and economically diverse neighborhood. We experience a great deal of those symptoms of disconnect: vandalism, graffiti, anger. My biggest concern is how can we who volunteer in the neighborhood through clean up parties, improvement projects and local activism shift toward fostering a connected community?
      I used to fall prey to the mindset that I have to live here. I hated the litter. I hated the cold looks or unfriendliness around the neighborhood. About three years ago, I changed my attitude and asked how I could help. Now, I know my neighbors, I say hello to those I pass on the sidewalk and don’t get hurtn when I do not get a repines. I have come to see how adversity in a neighborhood can divide but also foster connection. It makes people talk.
      So, bak to Tammy’s question: I volunteer in my neighborhood and enjoy the connection with fellow volunteers. I don’t know how to gage the greatest impact:)

  • Roberta September 15, 2011, 6:19 pm

    Great post and really enjoyed it. Just checked out your new about page and love how fresh and simple it is. Also like the new “Little House” page and love reading about your next great adventure in re-inventing the “Little House on the Prairie”…woo hoo!

  • Audrey Reynolds September 15, 2011, 8:19 pm

    Thanks for sharing this speech – I’ll be passing it on to a few graduates (and others) who may need to be reminded why it’s exciting to be alive right now! I definitely feel like the idea of interdependence is one that is gaining momentum and it seems like the “economic downturn” has fostered it – so a(nother) reason to be thankful for the reset. I’m Tiffany Shlain’s age and for many, many years I prided myself on being super INDEPENDENT. In the last 2-3, I’ve found myself putting my energy towards building relationships. I’m happier and healthier being more interdependent – it’s tiring to go at it alone all the time. And when we travel, connections are absolutely essential to the journey/experience. That said, the challenges of being digitally connected all the time are real. I think the positive outweighs the negative if we respect the need to occasionally empty our minds. Anyway, looking forward to the film. I hope it comes to Austin and/or Asheville!

  • Teri Kojetin September 16, 2011, 4:05 am

    The church I attend has been running a food shelf for about 3 years now. It has turned into the largest food shelf in Minnesota. My husband and I volunteer. I think it has become such a success because of how we treat our guests….yes, guests, not numbers or just people. We give them a warm welcome, coffee, juice and rolls while they wait and a place to sit and relax. When we register them we talk with them and offer to pray for any needs. I have often been in tears along with some of them as we pray for the difficulties in their lives. When their food is ready someone takes it out and puts it in their car for them. We believe in serving our community with love and kindness. We have guests from not only the metro area but cities at least an hour away. We are open twice a week for only a couple hours but have an average of 200 or more each time and they can only come once a month so that adds up to at least 1000 different families served each month! It is humbling and a blessing to be able to be a part of this.

  • jackie September 16, 2011, 8:19 am

    Just to start off Tammy, I really enjoy reading your blog. I’ve experienced inspirations from it, and I’d like to thankyou for that! As far as volunteering, I am currently working on a few projects, and I honestly feel better since I started volunteering. This summer I helped create a community garden in the Boyle Heights area of Southern California. I am volunteering with a coalition of residents in my hometown of Montebello, California to get bicycle lanes. And tonight I am helping host a potluck to collect cans to distribute to those who will need them this Thanksgiving. I’m really proud of what I’m doing and I feel that I have purpose! So I would definetly reccomend giving back to the community to all! 😀

  • Dawn September 16, 2011, 6:40 pm

    I guess the way that I find my closest connections are when I am completely honest with others. I think this is because if they know me well enough to know that I talk about poop in regards to a sign of healthy digestion and that I get philisophical at times when I look at seemingly insignificant ways that we all interact then I know that they can handle me as a whole being. I’m not sure that made complete sense…

  • Wei-ting September 17, 2011, 4:36 am

    I am a proud UC Davis alum. What I loved the most about that college was its support for gardens and using outdoor spaces to facilitate interactions between students, faculty and staff. I miss the sense of community that I experienced at Davis. I am now a graduate student at Johns Hopkins where we don’t yet have a large community garden, and I have found that there are few opportunities for non-academic ‘intergenerational’ interactions between faculty, students and staff. I am proud to be working on a steering committee to turn an empty space into a new community garden. Extracurricular activities such as start a community garden are not necessarily encouraged or appreciated by my academic advisors, and it is challenging to try to juggle a dissertation and communicating with multiple stakeholders of a community garden, but I am loving it!

  • Tammy Strobel September 18, 2011, 8:42 am

    Thank you all for sharing! I’m so touched to hear about what you’re doing in your local communities. It’s amazing the good people can do when we come together. 🙂

  • Christyna September 18, 2011, 5:16 pm

    I started a project to get my friends to cook for ourselves, together. It increases my connections, costs less than eating out (a common alternative for me), and builds a real resourcefulness within my friend circles.

    I’ve just started a blog about it, to share information and encouragement beyond my neighborhood.

  • Becca September 19, 2011, 11:29 am

    have you seen her movie/documentary “Connected”? It’s absolutely wonderful. Highly recommended if you haven’t already seen it!

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