2021 is the Year of Connection for KSS
2020 day campers learning the web of life
By Ellen Reid, Executive Director
In the quiet moments that I carved out for myself in 2020 (while few and far between), I took time to reflect, hoping to learn from the chaos and upheaval surrounding me. Most of the time, my mind wandered to thoughts of which way to go on the trail or how happy my puppy seemed.
Recently, though, I had the realization that I really missed people. Being around people, laughing with them, listening to their stories, learning from them. It’s probably a realization most of you had months ago and my introverted self was slow to come around. Sure, I’ve participated in my share of Zoom calls attempting to remain connected to work peers, family, and friends. But nothing can replace in-person time together.
We are inherently social beings and being connected is good for us. In 2014, Dr. Emma Seppala, the Science Director of Stanford University’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education, noted that “strong social connection leads to a 50% increased chance of longevity, strengthens your immune system, helps you recover from disease faster, reduces anxiety and depression…Social connectedness generates a positive feedback loop of social, emotional, and physical well-being.”