Together will never be the same again

There is but one infinite game.*
(James Carse)

a city is composed of different kinds of men; similar people cannot bring a city into existence**
(Aristotle)

Once upon a time, a farmer would sow seeds, harvest the crops, transport them to market and be the salesperson to those passing their stall. Today there’s a lot more people involved. As John Green was eating his broccoli, he found himself thinking about all the people who made it possible to get that vegetable onto his plate.

As we figure out how to work through the pandemic Covid19, we realise how working together will be essential – even when it means we stop seeing each other in the ways we have taken for granted.

We are appreciating not only our need to connect but also our desire to be connected – everything is connection:

Reading didn’t just offer escape; it offered connection.^

We have evolved to walk together, and social walking is demonstrative: it sends signals to others about our shared intentions and collective goals.^^

A good conversation is a constant stream of unexpected responses.*^

Here are three comments on connection I happened to come upon in my reading this morning: reading to find ourselves through the words of others, walking in rhythm with others and a conversation akin to a dance in which the choreography appears as we step out together.

If James Carse is right and there’s only one infinite game – in which we are all included and there is no single goal and we get to change the rules to include everyone for as long as possible – then there can be no “them” and “us.”

Then Aristotle’s words come to us as a lively challenge because although there is one game we are all different and yet our cities are evidence of our willingness to connect and work together.

Through the weeks and months ahead I believe we’ll see many ways being imagined for connecting and being together. When we are finally able to to be together in person once again, together will be quite different, hopefully altering us at a genetic level.

One way to connect, for those having to work at home, has been made available by Seth Godin. I’ve enrolled and look forward to connecting with people alongside the other ways and means.

(*From James Carse’s book Finite and Infinite Games.)
(**Aristotle, quoted in Richard Sennett’s Together.)
(^Emily Levine in her letter to young readers from Maria Popova and Claudia Bedrick’s A Velocity of Being.)
(^^From Shane O’Mara’s In Praise of Walking.)
(*^From Tim Harford’s Messy.)

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