Invest in Social Capital
One of the best strategies to a long and healthy life is connectivity. Numerous studies have led to wide-ranging conclusions about the importance of social relationships to individual good health. Having caring people around you--or even just making meaning from contact with them by phone, via the Internet, or other means--amounts to a special kind of health insurance. So, a surefire way to longevity is greater interactivity in a social sense. We humans are social creatures: interdependent, adaptable, and flexible. As a species, we have evolved in a world in which we must rely upon one another and, as individuals, the more we can contribute to bettering that world, the better it will be.
- Have you made a difference in people's lives?
- Can you think of a way of doing so?
If you are thinking about making a life change, and becoming more active in your community. Here's some advice:
- Find the time. This is twofold: First, you must do the homework; second, you need to find the time in life to invest.
- Make a list, then make the calls or send the e-mails. Making contact is essential: Talk to people, explain your interest, offer your services. Use any contacts you have--friends, family, coworkers--to gather intelligence.
- Build your own--and your community's--social capital. If your community isn't accessible, you can make it more so. Are there walking paths, gyms open to the public, bike paths, or mall-walking If there are none, you can help initiate them along with your friends or the larger community. But, finally, the motivation has to start with you as an individual.