Where Did Community Go?

One of the things that attracted me to blogging was the community. Ten years ago, commenting communities were HUGE on the blogs I would visit.

I remember voraciously reading thoughts from Dan Miller, Michael Hyatt, Jon HarrisonChris Lautsbaugh, Alex Barker, and many others. Their ideas would percolate in my mind and I would begin to think out my own thoughts on their latest topic.

fiver people running on the field near trees

Photo by Jed Villejo

I felt like I was getting a peek inside of their minds. Then, as a bonus, I could comment on their work. I could share the thoughts they inspired and have a conversation with them.

It was a great time to be online and connecting with people. It was the thing I loved most about blogs. The connection and feeling of community.

Times Change

In recent years, the online community has changed. I was reminded of this recently when I was looking for something from Alex.

Stop Isolating Yourself

I’ve watched the last couple of months as the church world has been rocked by suicides from Pastors Jim Howard of Real Life Church and Andrew Stoecklein of Inland Hills Church. I’ve also heard of suicides in the business and professional worlds. Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain both took their lives as well.

This breaks my heart. The world is losing brilliant minds to depression, mental illness, and emptiness. These men and women no longer see the value in continuing to live their lives.

Woman standing with her head down

Photo by Eric Ward

Time after time, you hear from their friends and families how they couldn’t see this coming. They seemed so happy, so alive. Suicide was the last thing on their minds. But they were wrong.

Suicides are happening. To those you know and love. To those you may have heard of. To those you don’t know.

Give Gifts That Matter

Can you remember the last time a business gave you a really cool gift? A gift that mattered? One that made you tell your friends, family, and coworkers? You probably can’t.

Businesses have taken the approach of cheap and quick to the art of gift giving. They see gifts as a way to quickly get their name out in front of people.

The gifts you give speak volumes

Photo by Kira auf der Heide

The days of cheap gifts having an impact, if they ever did, is gone. People aren’t paying attention to you when you give cheap or uncaring gifts. Gifts like:

  • A stress ball with their corporate logo emblazoned on it
  • A t-shirt with their logo
  • A USB portable power bank with, once again, their logo
  • A cell phone stand with, you guessed it, their logo

Corporate gifts have become all about the gift giver. I imagine their marketers sit around the office and ask questions like:

Do Something Out Of The Ordinary

The ordinary often becomes the mundane. Work, family life, friendships. You do the same thing over and over again, and it’s no longer special.

You can only tell someone you love them so many times before they get tired of hearing it. You can only hang out and do the same thing so many times before you get bored. And you can only lead in the same manner before you lose your team.

Out of the ordinary gets results

Image by Eduard Delputte

When your actions become ordinary, they become predictable and boring. They no longer carry the weight and show you care.

You can change this. You can make the ordinary special. All you gotta do is something out of the ordinary.

Experience Isn’t Everything

Longtime readers of my website know I have a love of ice climbing. Attempting to climb frozen waterfalls on a chilly day, what could be better? Nothing, in my opinion but yours may differ.

Climbing a waterfall in Houghton, Michigan

Image by Rick Elrod

I’ve been climbing every year for the last 6 years. Every year, I feel challenged and invigorated. This year was a little different.

Meet The Experienced Climbers

That’d be me. And a guy named Jason. We’ve been on multiple ice climbing trips over the years. Every year we see improvement in our climbing.

We’ll try to tackle climbs that are 60, 100, or 150 feet high. Vertical, inverted, traversing… We’ll try them and typically conquer them.

The challenge of climbing these ice formations are a blast. They also take a toll. Especially as we get older.