Convenience and Relationships

While driving to the Leadercast Live simulcast event here in the Denver Metro Area this morning, I finished listening to a podcast episode featuring journalist Tim Wu, the author of a recent New York Times opinion piece titled The Tyrrany of Convenience.

I really enjoyed both the piece and the interview, and one takeaway from what I heard this morning was the seeming inconvenience of relationships. Social media, and really the Internet + modern technology in general, makes it so convenient to “stay in touch” with people and manage your various relationships. And yet, relationships truly are inconvenient, which isn’t a bad thing. While thinking about this and listening to the Leadercast speakers, I jotted a few reflections on the inconvenience of relationships and some of the things I should be doing in this area.

What about investing in relationships and people is inconvenient?

  • Investment of time to listen; requires the humility to look outside yourself and be curious about something that you might not be “interested” in
  • Awkwardness of dealing with invitations, RSVPs, and general “social” tasks
  • Writing a note to say thank you or to praise a friend
  • Looking someone in the eye and giving positive feedback in person
  • Not hiding from people who want to come and see you, even if they’re difficult to deal with

I’m sure there’s more to this, but for now I have some important thoughts to chew on, especially since this applies at work, at church, and most importantly at home with my wife and kids.