Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Friendly and the Friendless

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Blog posting from Erick Pettersen from People Connect:

Last week, a couple of friends of mine from Boston came to my house for dinner.  I reminisced with them about how I befriended their son a few years earlier.

When I moved to the Boston area, from San Diego, I started out in Salem.  One night after work, in down town Boston, I walked to TD Bank Garden North, where the Celtics play and trains depart.  On most nights, large metal partitions hide two escalators that lead from the train station to the Celtics’ stadium.  On game nights, and a few other nights, people ride up and down those escalators.  On that Friday night, after I arrived at the train station, crowds of people streamed up and down those escalators.

I looked at my watch, checked the train schedule, and decided I had time to venture to the top of the escalators.  At the top, I stopped, turned, and asked the first person I saw about the cause of the mysterious crowd.  Three years later, his parents sat on the other side of my dining room table.  For two years, while I lived 3,000 mile from home, my friend and his family made me feel welcome in Boston.

That friendship started with one question that led to an answer that led to a conversation that led to the realization of mutual interests that led to exchanging phone numbers that led to many afternoons of coffee and evenings of meals.  Do you understand how the chain works?  If so, can you explain it to me.  There is no scientific method, there is only trial and error; though, it only works if we’re willing to let go of our preconceived notions and befriend the friendly and the friendless. 

People Connect is about connecting with people, in order to meet common life goals, not about shallow business relationships.  Hey, if more business comes of it, great. If a greener world comes of it, even better.  If a you receive a richer life, due to a great friendship, that’s awesome. 

Perhaps you came to this blog via AgentsPayingForward or a set of keywords you typed into Google.  Maybe you’re a friend of mine on Facebook or you follow me on Twitter.  However you came to this blog, you most likely found it because you want to connect with people who want to connect with people and are striving toward goals beyond themselves.  People Connect is about developing relationships, in order to meet goals. 

When I moved to Boston, I shook the hand of every person willing to shake mine. When I moved back to San Diego, I did the same.  Most of my friends from college had moved on, so I needed to make new friends.  Less than a year later, I continue to shake hands with whomever I can, chat on line with new Facebook friends, try to remember to return notes via my Twitter followers, and know my efforts to connect with people will lead to a goal greater than me.

Ten years ago, someone asked me what I saw myself doing in 10 years.  I answered, “I don’t know what I’ll be doing in 10 years, but I do know this—if it’s not bigger than me, we’ve got a problem.”  Ten years after she gave me an awkward look, followed by silence, and a long, drawn out “Okay,” I am on the right track toward my goal.

Now the question is, are you?  In the wave of technology that causes us to lose more and more of our humanity, relationships become more and more valuable.  Whatever your goal, I encourage you to connect with people, not the potential for money or business leads or other.  I urge you to connect with the friendly and the friendless without expectation.  

If you connect with people like one wave connects with another, you will find your shore.  

I would love to hear from any of my followers, or anyone else reading this blog, about your journeys, how those journeys are going, and the type of relationships your building.

Keep Connecting,




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