Bridgetymology: Connection

BASED ON THE DEFINITION OF THE STEADFASTNESS OF ITS ETYMOLOGY OVER TIME, IT MIGHT BE REALLY EASY TO ASSUME THAT THE IDEA OF CONNECTION OR CONNECTING IS A FAIRLY SIMPLE ONE. HOWEVER, A QUICK GOOGLE SEARCH BRINGS UP HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF HITS. BUT UPON FURTHER RESEARCH, THE ORIGINAL INTENTION OF THE WORD SHOWS THAT JUST BECAUSE WE’RE SEEMINGLY CONNECTED AT ANY GIVEN POINT IN TIME, TRUE CONNECTION REQUIRES LINKING TWO ENTITIES.

BINDING THEM TOGETHER THROUGH THE CULTIVATION OF A RELATIONSHIP, WE CAN WORK ON CULTIVATING AND MAINTAINING THESE RELATIONSHIPS.

IN TODAY’S EPISODE, KESHIIA IS BREAKING DOWN THE WORD CONNECTION!

meaning of ‘connection’ today

TODAY, CONNECTION IS DEFINED AS A RELATIONSHIP IN WHICH A PERSON, THING, OR IDEA IS LINKED OR ASSOCIATED WITH SOMETHING ELSE. FOR EXAMPLE, “THE CONNECTIONS BETWEEN SOCIAL ATTITUDES AND PRODUCTIVITY”.

roots of the word connection

LIKE MANY OF OUR OTHER BRIDGETYMOLOGY WORDS, THE ROOTS OF THE WORD CONNECT HAVE EARLY LATIN ORIGINS. THE EARLIEST VERSIONS OF CONNECT OR CONNECTION COME FROM THE MID- 15C LATIN WORD CONECTERE… CON- MEANING WITH AND NECTARE MEANING TO BIND OR TIE TOGETHER.

SIMPLY PUT, THE ORIGINAL MEANING OF CONNECT: TO BIND WITH OR BIND TOGETHER ISN’T TOO FAR A STRETCH FROM ITS MODERN DEFINITION.

the loneliness of viral connectedness

THIS IS LIKELY PART OF A MUCH LARGER CONVERSATION, BUT THIS QUICK LITTLE FORAY INTO THE GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE WORD CONNECTION WAS A REMINDER THAT EVEN IN OUR CURRENT STATE OF VIRAL CONNECTEDNESS, OF DIGITAL NATIVITY AND INFORMATION AT OUR FINGERTIPS, HUMANS ARE BECOMING LONELIER AND LONELIER… AT LEAST ACCORDING TO SOME OF OUR MOST NOTABLE DIGITAL PURVEYORS OF INFORMATION. IF SOME OF THIS WAS IN PART DUE TO THE PANDEMIC, HOWEVER, A QUICK REVIEW OF WHEN MANY OF THESE ARTICLES WERE PUBLISHED MADE CLEAR THAT THIS CRISIS OF CONNECTION IS A GAP THAT HAS BEEN WIDENING OVER THE COURSE OF THE LAST DECADE.

PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE, THE LAST DECADE (OR TWO) HAVE REALLY BEEN A SECOND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION, EXCEPT INSTEAD OF THE PRINTING PRESS, WE HAVE THE INTERNET AND THE IPHONE. AND EVEN THOUGH THE ADVENT OF THIS TECHNOLOGY HAS CONNECTED US ALL IN A VERY LITERAL SENSE…  I.E. SOCIAL MEDIA, SMARTPHONES… THAT NOTION COULDN’T BE FURTHER FROM THE TRUTH. A RECENT SURVEY REVEALED THAT OVER 3 IN 5 AMERICANS ARE LONELY.

THE FEELING OF ISOLATION HAS SUBSTANTIALLY INCREASED SINCE THE START OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. SO HOW CAN WE COMBAT THIS PANDEMIC OF LONELINESS CLEARLY PLAGUING MULTIPLE ASPECTS OF DAILY LIFE, ESPECIALLY IN A WORLD WHERE WE ARE SO SEEMINGLY CONNECTED? RETURNING TO THE DEFINITION OF CONNECTION: A RELATIONSHIP IN WHICH A PERSON, THING, OR IDEA IS LINKED IN ADDITION TO THE ORIGINAL ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD: TO BIND OR TIE TOGETHER AS WELL AS TO ESTABLISH A RELATIONSHIP.

linking with others

TRUE CONNECTION REQUIRES LINKING TWO ENTITIES… BINDING THEM TOGETHER THROUGH THE CULTIVATION OF A RELATIONSHIP. AND WE CAN WORK ON CULTIVATING AND MAINTAINING RELATIONSHIPS. ALSO, A FEW OF CONNECTION SYNONYMS CAN BE REALLY POWERFUL WHEN THINKING ABOUT CONNECTION IN THIS VEIN; RECIPROCITY, NETWORK, AND FRIEND. SYNONYMS LIKE THESE ARE A PERFECT REMINDER THAT CONNECTING WITH SOMETHING, WHETHER IT BE AN IDEA, ANOTHER HUMAN BEING, OR YOURSELF, YOU ARE FOSTERING A RELATIONSHIP VIA RECIPROCITY.

YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING HOW ON EARTH YOU MAINTAIN CONNECTION WITH SOMETHING INTANGIBLE LIKE AN IDEA? PUT THOUGHTS DOWN ON PAPER, CREATE GOALS, AND TAKE BABY STEPS. SIMILARLY, WE CAN PRACTICE HUMAN CONNECTION IN A NUMBER OF WAYS:

keep an open mind

IT’S EASY TO AUTOMATICALLY RULE OUT SOMEONE AS A FRIEND BECAUSE OF AN AGE GAP, DIVERGENT POLITICAL PERSPECTIVE OR DIFFERENT TASTE IN BOOKS, MOVIES OR MUSIC. STOP. GIVE EVERYONE A CHANCE. EVEN ONE COMMON INTEREST CAN SERVE AS AN AVENUE INTO ANOTHER PERSON’S INNER WORLD AND ESTABLISH THE FOUNDATION FOR A CLOSER CONNECTION.

be the friend you’d like to have

SAY YES TO INVITATIONS, BE RELIABLE, RESPOND TO TEXTS, EMAILS AND VOICEMAIL MESSAGES IN A TIMELY WAY. CONSIDER VOLUNTEERING YOUR TIME FOR WORTHY CAUSES, WHICH WILL POSITION YOU TO HELP OTHERS WHO MAY ALSO STRUGGLE WITH LONELINESS. PROVIDE INSTRUMENTAL AND EMOTIONAL SUPPORT AND GIVE YOUR FRIENDS YOUR FULL ATTENTION. CELEBRATE THEIR ACCOMPLISHMENTS. REMEMBER THEIR BIRTHDAYS AND OTHER IMPORTANT EVENTS. LISTEN TO THEIR TROUBLES AND PROVIDE A SHOULDER TO CRY ON, WHEN NEEDED.

make yourself vulnerable and be the first to show trust

SHARE SOMETHING PERSONAL ABOUT YOURSELF AND BE COURAGEOUS ENOUGH TO EXTEND THE FIRST INVITATION TO AN EVENT OR SOCIAL OUTING (KNOW THAT YOU MIGHT GET TURNED DOWN, JUST LIKE WHEN PURSUING A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP).

be compassionate with yourself

EXPECT TO MAKE A FEW MISTAKES WHEN TRYING TO ESTABLISH NEW FRIENDSHIPS. NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRY, YOU’LL EVENTUALLY SAY OR DO THE WRONG THING. KEEPING THAT IN MIND CAN HELP YOU TO STOP BEING YOUR OWN WORST CRITIC. TRY TO BE AS UNDERSTANDING OF YOUR OWN MISSTEPS AS YOU ARE OF OTHERS’ MINOR BLUNDERS. IF APPROPRIATE, APOLOGIZE. THEN, MOVE ON. A LITTLE SELF-COMPASSION WILL MAKE THE WHOLE PROCESS EASIER, ESPECIALLY WHEN A BUDDING FRIENDSHIP FIZZLES (YOU WON’T BE EVERYONE’S CUP OF TEA, AND THAT’S OKAY).

conclusion

CONNECTIONS WITH OTHER PEOPLE HELP US THRIVE AS HUMAN BEINGS AND FACE THE SLINGS AND ARROWS OF DAILY LIFE. NO ONE NEEDS TO FEEL COMPLETELY ISOLATED— PANDEMIC OR NOT, DIGITAL REVOLUTION OR OTHERWISE.

WHEN WE TAKE THE STEPS TO  CULTIVATE CLOSE BONDS, WHETHER IN PERSON OR VIRTUALLY, PERSONALLY AND/OR PROFESSIONALLY, WE ADDRESS OUR HUMAN NEED TO MAINTAIN RELATIONSHIPS AND THUS OUR WELL-BEING AND WE HONOR THE ORIGINAL INTENTION AND MEANING OF THE WORD BY BINDING/TYING OURSELVES AND OUR IDEAS TO ONE ANOTHER WITH INTEGRITY AND INTENTION.

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