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Lonely People Everywhere

By Joey Havens

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We just got out of church with Aunt Kate who has invited us to join her for lunch at her assisted living facility. We just transitioned her into an assisted living facility and it has been a rough adjustment for her and CeCe. Whew!

As we enter the facility, we hear a big, “Welcome Back!” We head to the dining room where we find a table for four with a lady already occupying one spot. After introducing ourselves, Ms. Lucy invites us to join her. During lunch, we learn about her family and the loss of her husband many years ago. It was so evident how much she still misses him as she said more than once how he was an outstanding man. For us, it gave us hope and joy to hear her talk about her love for him even twenty years after he was gone.

As we talked, three or four other residents came by to say hi and visit for a moment as we had met them during some of our previous visits to see Aunt Kate. Most of them asked about Oliver as he has become a featured guest when we bring him over with us. Everyone is so eager to engage and connect. Frankly, it burdens me that I have not committed more time to share and help fill this need.

This Sunday lunch also opened my eyes to the fact that lots of people are lonely. We walk past them every day on the sidewalk or in the hall. We have team members who are lonely. Maybe it’s us — maybe we are lonely.

The lack of connection to a team, a purpose and the overall disconnect with each other continues to flame this great Reset or Realignment with people choosing to leave jobs at unprecedented rates. Loneliness is a contributing factor and one that we can influence. Are your team members lonely?

Let’s be intentional and encouraging to those team members who might be lonely, disconnected or simply overlooked. A smile and a simple question about how they are doing can go a long way.

Coming in 2023, my new book Leading with Significance breaks through the limiting barriers of common culture theory and demonstrates, with great transparency, the real human emotions that elevate a culture to one that is genuine, enduring and magnetic.  Sign up today for updates at