When we belong to a closely knit group, it creates a foundation that supports us, sometimes throughout life. Without at least one such group, we can easily flounder.
Closely knit groups can form from different sources - family, work, organizations, charities, neighbors are a few.
A great example, and perhaps best known closely knit group, is the US Marine Corps. Esprit De Corps!
I am part of a blended family group and have come to feel, not just know, that I have five children, not just the two born to me. The mother of my three step-sons is also my close friend, along with her husband. Regardless of its unique character, over the years we have become a closely knit group.
People can become lonely in a crowd, but never need to let that happen. When we look around and see closely knit groups, they are made up of individuals who focus outside of themselves and see the lives of others.
In this group is an additional daughter and her husband, whom I see as a son-in-law. This daughter came to my business and my life 25 years ago and I have now spent as much time with her as with my birth daughter. My four sons and daughter see her as a sister as well. It happens in a closely knit group. The whole family went to Disney World a few years ago and having all my kids in one place, playing together for that week in the happiest place on earth, made it just that for me!
Not everyone at work has become a child of my own but I care about each one and celebrate their triumphs, grieve their losses, delight in their development. We are a closely knit group. We spend as much time, sometimes more, with our "work family" as we do with our actual family. We share more than business events; we have been through marriages, births, deaths, divorces, raising children, sicknesses - all the real life happenings that occur in any group, regardless of its source.
I watched our Chesapeake Rotary become more of a closely knit group when everyone worked so passionately on our new major fundraiser - The Chesapeake Wine Festival - that raised $150,000 for charity! This same group had held a spaghetti dinner fundraiser for years, which raised a few thousand dollars - at the cost of hundreds of hours of work! With so many groups in need, Scott Danner and Roland Davis developed the Festival to turn all the hours spent by so many Rotarians into this large sum of money for charity. More than charities benefitted. Club members, experiencing the joy inherent in working together for a worthy cause, became closely knit. We have already begun working on the 2011 Festival. We couldn't wait for that esprit de corps to resume!
People can become lonely in a crowd, but never need to let that happen. When we look around and see closely knit groups, they are made up of individuals who focus outside of themselves and see the lives of others. They want to give of themselves. Receiving is the unexpected prize. Everywhere they look, they will find groups who welcome such a person.
I count my closely knit groups as my riches in life.
Jean Loxley-Barnard has been a writer all her life and studied both sociology and psychology at George Washington University where she earned a B.A. Her company, The Shopper, Inc., encompasses all the Loxley-Barnard family publications - The Shopper Magazines and Doctor to Doctor Magazine. She has been in the advertising, consulting and publishing business for 38 years.
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