Friday, March 12, 2010

Connecting at the Ant Hill

Remember when we took time to notice good things? Remember when we trusted people and expected good things from ourselves and each other? Remember Sunday afternoon drives, stopping by to visit another family and having ice cream on the porch? Remember when children raced around the yard with glass jars—catching fireflies? Old folks were rocking and reflecting. Neighbors walked by and there was a connection, a kindness, that held us all together. We don’t have that anymore. We have been robbed. Somebody came in through the kitchen door of our lives and ran off with some absolute necessity, some nourishment that our communities depend upon to stay connected and caring.

Ants take such good care of their social connection that they are among the longest living insect in the world. “Myrmecology,” the study of ants, informs us that the long life and the success of the highly organized ant colony is due, in part, to a touch, a chemical kiss that is passed along from one ant to the next ant as they pass each other. Each ant has its job,some jobs more glamorous than others. Every ant touches the next ant as it does its job…a touch of encouragement, a touch of inspiration, a reminder that no ant is working alone. Now… imagine those same ants stopping their work long enough to watch us with our secured and gated developments, our rage-filled roads and all the greedy and competitive business going on in our relationships at home and in the work place.

According to Daniel Goleman in his book, Social Intelligence, we are wired to connect. He says we are so deeply connected to one another that we “create one another.” p. 5

“Whenever we connect face to face (or voice to voice, or skin to skin) with someone else, our social brains interlock.” p.11 and we become more because of these physical encounters with personal connections. More human. More of what we were created to be.

It is my hope that people will return to looking at one another, listening to family members and neighbors, telling stories that make us laugh and cry together. It is my passion to make kindness, conversation and story sharing a staple in our daily lives. Take a minute and watch the ants at work in your yard. Invite a neighbor to watch with you. Get connected.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Welcome to Elaine Blanchard's new blog "Can You Believe It?"