Over a year ago, I bought a friendship lamp for one of my friends. Haven’t heard of them? It’s a nifty invention that when linked together and connected to wifi allow one friend to touch the lamp and for the other friend (many miles away) to see her lamp light up. A sign from afar that you’re being thought of.
Truth be told, the lamps didn’t get much use when we first received them. We ran into a glitch connecting them and gave up pretty easily. But, once March 2020 was upon us and we were all confined to our homes, we decided we wouldn’t let these pesky technical issues deter us from experiencing connection in a bit of an unconventional way.
Side note…sometimes we try something and it doesn’t work the first time. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try again. Glad we did because the 2nd go around, the lamps were connected and with a simple touch of my palm to the top of the lamp, my friend 2000 miles away would know she was thought of. And, I would feel less alone too.
I’m sharing this with you as we talk this month about the importance of connection. Not the kind of connection that is commonly called networking, but true, meaningful connection with other people. Undoubtedly, we are in a time when connecting in person is difficult and even seeing people face to face doesn’t mean we can shake their hand or sit shoulder to shoulder. But, we can still connect. And, we must.
In an article titled, “Why We are Wired to Connect” in the Scientific American, it states, “Across many studies of mammals, from the smallest rodents all the way to us humans, the data suggests that we are profoundly shaped by our social environment and that we suffer greatly when our social bonds are threatened or severed.”
I will be speaking about this in more detail in my webinar this month, “The Making of Connection” on August 12. Registration details are enclosed in this newsletter. If you missed it, email me, and I’ll be glad to share the recording.
In the meantime, I’d love to share what my friend said about her friendship lamp and the value of connection and how developing strong connections is valuable, especially when the storms hit us in our lives. In her words…
We had Isaias blow through our CT town last week. It was a mess of fallen trees, branches and live wires. Both our power and internet service went out. The generator kicked in quickly to keep the essentials running, such as the outlet for my friendship lamp. I was on an errand when the tornado touched down near us. Normally a short drive, it took forever trying to avoid the trees in the road while navigating in torrential rain. When I got home, I saw that my friendship lamp was flashing frantically. Similar to a flash flood warning you get on your phone. My first thought was how did Lisa know that my life was in danger? I imagined her tapping on her friendship lamp warning me in Morse code to head for tornado shelter. I ran downstairs to check on my family, including our dog and cat. Everyone was alright but definitely shaken by the various noises outside. When I got back to my home office, I saw that the friendship lamp was still flashing. With the internet down, the lamp was signaling that it was offline. I unplugged it. Then plugged it again thinking how would Lisa know that I’m okay? Then unplugged again knowing that she won’t know because we’ve lost the connection. When the power is on and wifi is working, the friendship lamp stays a steady, warm color. It changes when Lisa touches hers or I touch mine to signal to her that I’m thinking about her. Sometimes I touch the lamp deliberately and other times, out of habit. Whether she sees it or not, she knows that the lamp is glowing for her and I know that mine is always glowing for me. No storm or glitch in wifi can change this connectivity we have together.