By Shae Hadden | Bio

In the busyness of mid-life career pursuits, we can easily find ourselves letting relationships slide. In no time at all, it seems years have gone by, we’ve lost touch with dear friends from near and far, and forgotten the lure of long-promised adventures we were going to share. A recent NY Times article about Elizabeth Goodyear, a centenarian confined to her one-bedroom walk-up, has prompted me to reconsider my relationship to others and what ‘community’ I want to grow older in.

I’m not inspired with the thought of ‘living alone’ for the rest of my life. We are social creatures, meant to be in relationship with each other and not isolated in our dwellings and our lives. We are designed—biologically and psychologically—to be ‘in community’. By ‘community’, I mean the people whom we are in relationship with—whether that is a pre-existing group that has a common belief system or focus or simply the collection of individuals who are an important part of our life. Like Ms. Goodyear, I am ultimately responsible for my relationships. She has obviously learned how to be open enough to receive from others, which allows them opportunities to learn how to give.

Today (and every day), I can generate my own community…a network of people built on freely giving and receiving the best we have to offer each other. Perhaps this is essentially what the hippie culture was intending to demonstrate—a ‘do no harm’ way of respectfully relating to each other. All I know is that I have a new commitment to accepting offers of assistance and friendship, to giving of myself where and when I can, to seeing the best in others, and to expressing my appreciation and gratitude to the friends and loved ones present in my life today.

© 2008 Shae Hadden. All rights reserved.