Building Community Through Connections


After recently reading a study that detailed how social isolation is a growing problem in America – with the number of adults reporting that they are “lonely” having doubled to forty percent since the 1980s – I wonder how that reflects on rural communities like that of Downeast Maine. Perhaps it’s because I’m in the newspaper business, or perhaps it’s because the time of year makes us want to draw in closer with one another, but connection seems to be a continuing theme lately. Whether as individuals or as organizations, people in this area are yearning for and attaining connections with one another, and the community is brightening as a result.

Sometimes we aren’t able to connect with the people we want to – whether they’ve been drawn away to fight overseas, or they’ve moved to another area, or they’ve passed on. Those situations can certainly produce an occasionally profound loneliness, but, ideally, we will have the opportunity to join together with others who may share in our situation. One point that has been repeatedly demonstrated to me here in the St. Croix Valley is that there is always someone willing and able to listen to us if we are willing and able to share.