One of the areas of mathematics that I have long found to be of great interest are areas of geometry. As I have an interest in mapping and spacial relationships, it seems natural for me to be drawn to areas of mathematics that involve and take advantage of visual representations of various aspects of the world, whether the physical or the social world. One of the areas of such study is the area of nodal analysis, an area of study that seems rather boring but has a lot of interesting and noteworthy social implications that I find it interesting to ponder about often and worthy of discussion at least sometimes as well. Today is one of those days where my position as a node is something that I have found rather noteworthy and more than a little bit unusual.
I have often written about how much I feel like an outsider in life . That said, there is an equally pointed way in which being a node, or a link between people, has equally often been a matter of great importance in my life. A lot of that role as a node has come about because of involvement. Involvement tends to lead to being someone who is able to relate to others well in an official way because of one’s duties and responsibilities, which is often less stressful and less difficult than dealing with people only on an individual level. I find it easier, for example, to communicate with others when I have some sort of official business with them than I do when there is only a personal connection. Likewise, I tend to develop friendships out of those areas of involvement that I have–because such people are already singing or playing sports with me (to give but two examples), allowing the opportunity for other collaborative projects. In this way, social context through activities provides a way to connect people together.
It is for this reason that such activities like sports and music and official social activities plays such a large role in my own formation of friendship and bonds with others. And this is how we become a node in our lives with others. Our involvement with others leads us to be concerned about their well-being. We are able to know if something is going on wrong, and are also able to connect people in different areas of life based on their needs and concerns. This works personally as well as professionally–personally, we can encourage our friends to get to know each other, to make all of us feel less isolated and more connected, which can help develop a community of the people we are around, because we are all interconnected, concerned with how everyone else is doing and willing and able to help and encourage others as necessary. This also works professionally, in that having deep and rich connections with other people on a professional level can help us to provide assistance for others who are looking for various professionals. It is this phenomenon that serves as the basis of business networking, which is absolutely essential in many lines of business.
In many ways, what we want out of life, and what we need out of life, are matters of connection. If we have the indwelling presence of God’s Holy Spirit, we are connected not only with God and Jesus Christ, but also with everyone else who has or has ever had or will ever have the Holy Spirit within them, as part of the same family. We are connected through bonds of blood and marriage and connection with our friends and family, which serve us to connect to others, and remind us that no man (or woman) is an island. Likewise, that which we want out of life, and that which we need to do, often requires areas of knowledge and expertise that are beyond our own, and therefore it is necessary to connect with other people who can provide what we lack. Additionally, if we live well, we will acquire skills and expertise that will be able to be of service to others, and we too will be able to provide others what they lack. Being nodes, rather than isolated, allows us to serve and encourage and help and be helped and encouraged and served, for the benefit of all. That is how we overcome the isolation and disconnectedness of our times. At times we may be much better at connecting with others and connecting others together than we may feel. That is not always a bad thing; sometimes our hearts are not wise, after all.
 See, for example: