Recently, my friend Aiden asked me what was on my mind, and without hesitation, I replied, “relationships.” It seemed like a simple response, but it carried a profound meaning. In a world where the word “scale” often evokes thoughts of grand business ideas and technological advancements, I believe it is time we redirect our focus towards scaling our investment in relationships. By prioritizing human connections, we can collectively strive towards personal fulfillment and make each other whole. For most of us, the quality of our lives runs parallel with the quality of our relationships.
The Disappearing Social Fabric
There has been a gradual shift away from the type of civic engagement that used to be prevalent in our society. Bowling alleys, parks, school organizations—these were the places where adults learned how to coexist, despite differing opinions. Unfortunately, the increasing dominance of screens in our lives has played a significant role in this transformation. The constant demands of television, computers, and smartphones have held us captive, available at their beck and call 24/7.
The Impact on Our Children
Picture of Katie and me on an Education Reimagined professinal development trip to New Mexico. Katie started with us in 5th grade, graduated this week and will study social work.
The repercussions of this societal change are particularly concerning for our children, especially those attending underperforming schools or living in chaotic neighborhoods. The lack of stable relationships with diverse adults who invest quality time puts them at risk. Relationships shape our lives and define our experiences. We all require love, guidance, encouragement, and structure to thrive.
An Urgent Call for a New Investment
In light of these challenges, I am advocating for a fresh approach to investment. We must ensure that every child, starting from sixth grade and beyond, is connected to a positive future vision. They need access to resources and opportunities that enable them to actively participate in life, allowing them to discover where they fit in, where they can make their impact. Our mission is clear—to create a latticework of human infrastructure that supports these children from their early adolescent years through high school and beyond.
Creating a Supportive Network
To achieve this ambitious goal, we must come together as a community. It starts by offering each child a vision coach who will guide them on their journey. These mentors will help foster a sense of belonging and ensure that the young individuals stay connected to their aspirations. Additionally, we must provide them with the necessary resources and opportunities to actively engage in various aspects of life.
Investing in Our Future
Investing in relationships is not just a selfless act; it is an investment in our collective future. By nurturing strong connections and providing ongoing support, we empower the next generation to thrive. This investment transcends monetary gains and focuses on the invaluable dividends of personal growth, empathy, and resilience.
In a world that often glorifies technological advancements and material wealth, let us not overlook the significance of investing in relationships. Scaling our investment in human connections is the key to making each other whole. Together, we can build a society where every child is supported, guided, and encouraged to realize their full potential. It is time to prioritize the quality of our relationships and pave the way for a brighter future.
FABx Board Chair Allison Ingalsbe with long-time PVD YM interns Teo, Richard and Debbie.