Connected by Nuts and Bolts


A while ago I had the opportunity to walk through a construction site on the community college where I work. The structure is compiled of concrete flooring and metal beams. Bolts, screws, and broken stones littered the pathways. As I listened to the guide explain where everything was going to be, it was amazing to envision what this blank building will look like in a few months.

What remains most vivid for me was something the guide said. He noted to a section where beams intersected. He said that this one bare section had been put together by multiple hands. Each section of the building was viewed by multiple engineers, inspectors, etc. The process of putting a building together draws complexities and connections far surpassing what we see in a finished product.

In the same sense the way we as individuals are connected to a place is drawn upon how we connect with one another. Oftentimes a place, or tradition, has meaning not from the very act or scene but rather from the individuals that inhabited those moments and connected memories to the place. Knowing this, could our sense of place or connection be magnified or hindered based on the people we surround ourselves with? Personally, I would say yes.

I don’t want to go off on a soap box with the whole ‘we are connected to one another and must support each other to make the world a better place’ speech. That’s not my intention. What I’m trying to say is all of our actions impact others whether we see it or not. There was a Native American man who spoke at my work a few weeks ago and one thing he said was that as a culture they think of every action as to how it will affect up to the 7th generation.

Can you image what our world would be like if each individual considered the impact their actions had on the future? Just like the structure of that building, we all impact and compose the minute parts of life. While one of the most obvious ways this concept could be implemented is sustainability and the future of our planet, what if we considered the connections we make with strangers, cultures, and values? Could not the values we treasure be things to protect and oversee, along with protecting the rights of other cultures and values? We live in a diverse world. Rather than being afraid of that diversity what if we worked together with one another to accept the differences and build upon it.

Each part of that building I saw was composed of different sections. And in each section multiple workers had to combine their talents to put together a sound structure. Each section appears insignificant but as a whole the structure stands and continues to be built. Is not humanity capable of the same?

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