The strength of distant ties

We’re always trawling for connections to make Jim’s life full and interesting. Sometimes I feel like a stalker when I notice someone making a genuine gesture of interest in him (not that “awww, isn’t he special? kind) but authentic ones that might have something lasting lurking behind them. Rick and I often bemoan the fact that so many bright lights in Jim’s life life far away. He’s got family and friends who have a genuine realtionship with him who live in Australia, New Zealand, the UAE, the States, throughout Canada. If there was some way to make all those people come to their senses and move to Saskatoon, preferably within walking distance of our house, think of the barbeques and movie nights Jim could throw?

But instead of thinking of those far away connections with regret, maybe there’s a way to perceive them differently. A colleague of Rick’s just marked his 50th birthday and in an amazing collaboration of friendship, people from all over the world who know and love Dean banded together through the miracle of social networks and helped him celebrate. Read about it here and have a look at the article Dean linked to about the strength of weak ties. It’s a bit academicky, but the title got me thinking about how we can celebrate all those satellites who orbit around Jim, which is fitting since he often considers himself the centre of the universe 🙂 Maybe the trick is to keep a line attached to those who are distant and just reel them in from time to time to make Jim’s life richer. Those connections are not weak in the sense of loose and flabby, but weak only in terms of physical distance. It’s our job, and Jim’s, to keep them strong.

And, come to think of it, Jim does need new socks.

 

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