When we reach out to fill a gap in our community (large or small) what we do is
see a need, acknowledge that need, and act to address that need.
Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I saw a re-post of the following message:
“My dad died when I was eight.
Every week a few of the dads on my hockey team would offer to tie my skates.
Not in a big showy way, in a quiet kind of way.
They filled the gap.
Find a way to fill the gap for someone.
It will make you both better.”
~attributed to Jonathan Torrens
Those poignant words reminded me of a few life lessons.
- There are gaps all around us. From neighbors needing a hand with home repair, to a child searching for a mentor, to a friend suffering through a family crisis, or, maybe, a family member with whom you need to reconnect. Before we fill the gap, we have to recognize it exists. Eyes wide open.
- The quote above notes the gestures were made “not in a showy way [but] in a quiet kind way.” Those dads stood out for their gentle connections. They did not have to bloviate and say. “Look at me and what I am doing!” No, they stood out by not standing out.
- When a gap exists sometimes the best action is to address it head on. Like a suggestion I offered in a previous post on this blog: Rather than ruminate on “Why isn’t our community a better place?” we would be better served (and serve better) to ask, “What can we do to make our community a better place?” Yes we have to know the why–just don’t let it get in the way of the what that is needed in front of you. The child in the quote above needed the love of tied shoelaces more-so than a dialogue on why the shoelaces were not tied. Tie the shoelace and that may lead to deeper conversation addressing the nature of the gap.
When we reach out to fill a gap in our community (large or small) we see the need, acknowledge the need, and act to address the need. Why? Because in that moment we remember the gap that separates provides an opportunity to create bridges.
Video recommendation for the week:
One of my favorite podcast episodes came when I had the chance to sit down with centenarian Dr. Frances Bartlett Kinne. Her life motto speaks to filling the gap by bridging connections: “Life is not about me, it’s about others.” Enjoy!
Make it a great week and HTRB has needed.
My latest book, Roxie Looks for Purpose Beyond the Biscuit, can be found in
eBook ($2.99) and paperback ($9.99) format. Click here.
My dog Roxie gets top billing on the author page for this work. Without her, there would be no story. Please, check out her blog.
And you can still order:
- Community as a Safe Place to Land (2019, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. More information (including seven free podcast episodes that spotlight the seven core values highlighted in the book) at the above link.
- Stories about Teaching: No Need to be an Island (2017, print and e-book). Available on Amazon. One college’s new faculty onboarding program uses the scenarios in this book. Contact me if you and your team are interested in doing the same. The accompanying videos (see the link above) would serve to stimulate community-building conversations at the beginning of a meeting.
My podcasts (all 50 episodes) can be found here.
You will find more about me at www.stevepiscitelli.com.
©2021. Steve Piscitelli
The Growth and Resilience Network®