five years ago i dropped my cell phone while shoveling snow. fortunately kellie found the phone half buried in the driveway, but it made 37 unprovoked calls to dr. james the same day and was pretty much worthless from then on. when i realized my phone was useless i immediately started worrying that i wouldn't be able to replace it with the script i had saved from my call center job. when i mentioned my anxiety to my friend craig he told me not to worry. "we all have more connections than we could ever imagine," craig said. "rely on your network to help you replace it." fortunately, i followed craig's advice, emailed a few friends and had a $5 replacement within 48 hours.
for years i have had a friend who constantly confronts catastrophic problems. as soon as he recovers from a job loss, he's faced with failing health. once the failing health is addressed, his partner pulls out. once he finally secures a stipendiary scholarship, well, you get the drift. i wish i could say differently, but i've often avoided him simply because i cannot solve his problems. recently my friend called with yet another conundrum - the kind that would have once been a clarion call to run - and i simply used my network to point him towards a service that might sustain him in his hour of need.
i'm still learning that although we can't do everything we often can make the connection that will help others or even our fragmented selves. craig's invaluable lesson was echoed by dwight friesen's thy kindgom connected. that's the main reason i'm glad i read the book.