Stitches in the Tapestry of Life: Bonds of Kinship Part Two
A Simple Habit to Strengthen the Bonds of Kinship
When we speak, we create.
Our words are a strong force in this world, intended or not. Our words either build or destroy, create growth and well-being or create havoc and destruction.
As we learned in Part One of The Bonds of Kinship, we communicate in more ways than one. We speak powerful messages nonverbally—even before we open our mouths. When we communicate glad-to-be-together messages by our eyes, warm smile, and tone of voice, this sparks joy in the other person’s brain, and dopamine (the feel-good hormone) is released. They feel seen, heard, and valued. We build.
If, on top of this non-verbal sense of being valued, we then add words which reinforce the message, we further strengthen the bonds of togetherness. Any community which can consistently communicate in these ways with each other will become a strong, resilient, and compelling entity. This is the glue, the stick-together quality of a thriving, joyful community.
One very simple, practical means we can use words to weave in bonds of kinship is to Create Appreciation. The person who creates appreciation walks through daily interactions with others looking for things to appreciate. He or she will look to SEE something valuable, lovely, or needed, and will express that appreciation.
“It’s great to see the energy you add to our meetings.”
“Thanks for your encouragement!”
“I love how you can make me laugh!”
“I appreciate how patient you are with me.”
“Your ideas always give me another perspective … thank you!”
The person who creates appreciation in this way shares joy wherever they go, and others enjoy being around them. It is a generous habit that brings and keeps people together.
People who willingly want to be together stand a much greater chance of creating a strong, flexible, enduring community fabric. Mutual joy does that! As our current cultural default mode is busyness, distraction, and disconnection—the very opposite of togetherness and kinship—it becomes even more needed—and effective.
When individuals in a group feel appreciated, they feel valued. When someone appreciates me and sees value in my presence, I find I can live more authentically before them, knowing I am valued in spite of my inadequacies and trouble-spots. Compassion grows. Others see my delight in them and know that to me, at least, they are a treasure. And finding mutually satisfactory solutions to problems becomes easier.
A group with low joy is not a strong entity—the slightest thing can fracture it. Strong, flexible families, companies, or neighborhoods are glad to be together. Each individual belongs. Each one is needed. It is felt that the absence of even one will leave the whole slightly weaker. A community known for joyful togetherness like this, is strong and mature.
So here is another, very simple, constructive, and generous habit we can practice in community: Creating Appreciation. There is nothing quite so attractive as a strong and joyful community. Hearts made glad to be together is a compelling thing to see, and it is worth the effort to develop these two simple, practical, and generous habits of speaking: verbal and non-verbal.
Every day, day after day, we can speak; we can create strong bonds of joyful togetherness with those around us, sparking life, helping others find the strength they need to grow and move forward, and form something beautiful together…
…and a thing of beauty is a joy forever.
Yours for a return toward Grace, Civility, Beauty, Gentility, and Excellence,
“Life is short and we have not too much time for gladdening the hearts of those who are traveling the dark way with us. Oh, be swift to love! Make haste to be kind.” ~Henri Frederic Amiel
“A crucial measure of our success in life is the way we treat one another every day of our lives.” ~P.M. Forni