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Relationships come in all kinds of shapes

Alright people, let’s talk relationships. And no, I don’t just mean the romantic ones…

A few weeks ago I was talking to a guy named Alex Pond and he is, simply put, a fabulous human being. Not because he is covered in glitter (holla to the ones who are!) but because he is concerned. He is concerned with what matters. Alex is working on a project to showcase the leaders of tomorrow, the people who are working 18 hours a day to make others and the world, better. By discovering and understanding what inspires these people - whose lives consist of waking up everyday and solving problems - he aims to tell stories. The kind that move you and heighten your soul when you read them.

As I sat listening to him talk about his motivations I was taken aback by his views, and the way in which he sees our society through a unique lens; one crafted through his own experiences. We grazed over beautiful (and sometimes abstract) subjects like empathy, values, competition and collaboration.

But we spoke about something that made me stop and look up, as if I was seeing beyond what was in front of me (you know, one of those ‘oh damn’ moments where you just have to feel for a little bit). We were talking about the word relationship, and about how “it has been monopolized by dating apps” (his brilliant words). It became clear to me then what was already clear to him: the word has become associated purely to dating. Of course this makes sense in a way...but I want to say something.

From a logical perspective, when we think about the word relationship we understand that it is something related to the level of closeness that we share with someone else right? Logically, it is that. However, when we are not necessarily aware (meaning actively conscious) of what we are thinking, the word easily takes a romantic nature despite our understanding that we have a relationship with every person we know and appreciate; it just varies in terms of the type.

Now, why does it matter? Because language shapes the way we think. And it’s important that we acknowledge constantly that our relationships can take many forms and are not just ‘heart shaped’. This will allow us to view our business partners, our friends, even our acquaintances, as people we have relationships with.

Certainly, some relationships will be more important than others and some will require more time to build, but that's what makes them beautiful and so valuable. And building them is what makes us human.

So my challenge for you is this: invest your time forging meaningful relationships of all kinds, not just romantic ones. And do it in person, because being face to face allows you to experience the other person fully. Be inspired and genuinely interested in everyone you meet, because every single person has something to teach you (about life, adventure, business and even about yourself)!

Meet real people and be part a community!