HungerMar 12, 2013
Hunger. Such an odd word to slide into my mind before the sun rose this morning. I've been wondering what exactly I would write next. Hunger. For the last six hours, I’ve turned the word over and over in my mind. Breathing into it and silencing my thoughts to hear what would be revealed as I swam my pool laps. Hunger.
I grew up in a small town of 175 people. The town was stoplight-free, with one paved road (the main highway), plenty of dirt-gravel washboard roads, and free-roaming dogs. It was filled with an Oscar-worthy cast of characters. Every type of person you could imagine lived or drifted through town. A big-city photographer and a writer dropped out to move to our small town. Folks owned businesses and acres of land but never made it through middle school. Others drank themselves into oblivion passing out in roadside ditches.
Language barriers existed for others whose mother tongue was not English. Hippies with unkempt hair and smelly clothes stopped for a bit to work hours in the sun in exchange for steaks and beer before hitchhiking to new destinations.
One unifying truth, we knew everyone. We looked out for everyone, and yes, we knew everyone’s business. No one was anonymous. We had folks with terrible problems or who were just weird. Some drank too much, were poor examples of spouses, or lacked honesty in business dealings. But each community member was valued for something he or she contributed. Everyone mattered—even people we disagreed with. In our small town filled with misfits, eccentrics, and a few “regular” folks, people were important. We didn’t talk about “building community” we just lived in a relationship with each other. We helped each other.
Hunger. I believe we are suffering from profound relational malnourishment. Am I of value to someone? Do others value me? Do I matter? It seems that these questions, maybe worded differently, are asked daily. Without answers or clear affirmative responses, our hunger for meaning becomes voracious. To satisfy the hunger pangs, we gorge ourselves on fluff and stuff. Still famished, we long for deep, meaningful relationships.
Do we realize in our rush-rush world how disconnected we’ve become? Close friendships and relationships that nurture our Spirit are important to feed our hunger for meaning and connection. Over the past month, I have reconnected with friends who answer, for me, some of the questions above and fill my Heart. I am committed to reconnecting. Who are you hungry to reconnect with? Who nurtures, values, respects, and honors you, but is absent from your life? I'm looking forward to sitting with friends, family, and others who feed my Spirit in uplifting, creative, loving, and valuable ways. Are you?
Jenny DuFresne is the CEO, Leaders Transform. Our mission is to develop leaders who grow, inspire, and evolve people, culture, and impact. Our team supports executive and mid-level leaders with executive coaching, leader, team, and culture development in mid-market companies. Learn more at www.LeadersTransform.com
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