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Melcyan is a Water Dragon. He is also a retired Chemistry teacher and a lifelong learner. He met his Chinese partner for the first time in 2007 while ballroom dancing in Australia. Their relationship started in 2010 and they have been together ever since. His focus on CLM has been to learn more about the implications of his life-partner's culture and language for building a lifelong loving relationship.
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From Boy to Man part 2 - connection    

By Melcyan
2257 Views | 23 Comments | 1/18/2020 12:06:55 PM
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#2020-02-06 20:56:47 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot

I suspect that whenever the topic of self-love has been raised on CLM there were always men who did not fully understand the concept of self-love. Now that the topic of connection has been raised I am starting to suspect that lacking connections may be an even bigger problem for men than self-love. I am interested to know your answer to the following question. How connected are you to your surrounding world?

#2020-02-08 11:43:08 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan - I've been meaning to get back here and comment, so thanks for the nudge. You've asked me to respond to the question "How connected are you to your surrounding world?" 

Before I do that I want you to know that I did not take up all the homework assignments you provided us, but I did watch the recommended Ted Talk by Johann Hari. I very much enjoyed it and felt better educated as a result of watching it.

I recommend it to everyone as 20 minutes well spent and am repeating the link here:

https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_this_could_be_why_you_re_depressed_or_anxious/up-next

Now, back to How connected are you to your surrounding world?. When I started to try to respond to that question I was immediately faced with the problem of what exactly is my 'surrounding world'? Does it include my immediate family, my extended family, my closest friends, my countless acquaintances, every member of my city, my province, my state or province, my country, or the entire world? Does it include other living beings such as pets, livestock, domestic animals nearby, wild animals nearby, all animals in the world? Does it extend to inanimate objects near or far? 

You get the picture I think.

So, @melcyan, I'm going to temporarily put the ball back in your court and ask you to narrow down the task you've assigned me by explaining what is meant by the "surrounding world" to which I am being asked to evaluate my connections?

#2020-02-08 12:27:59 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot

To start, just focus on people connections.

there are three kinds of connections that you can have with people:

intimate connections – with people who love and care for you, such as family and friends

relational connections – with people who you see regularly and share an interest with, such as workmates or those who serve your morning coffee

collective connections – with people who share a group membership or an affiliation with you, such as people who vote like you do, or people who have the same faith.

#2020-02-08 16:51:21 by melcyan @melcyan

@JohnAbbot

 

To start your answer, limit yourself to people connections.

 

As I stated earlier, there are three kinds of connections that you can have with people. I will illustrate each of the three kinds of connection with my own experience.

 

intimate connections – with people who love and care for you, such as family and friends

 

My partner - this is an unbelievably strong connection despite the fact we are not together 7 days a week. Being connected to her also results in me being connected to her extended family, especially mama.

My 4 children. I have a unique connection with each of my 4 children. They are all adults now and I can get help from them if I ask for it. They can get help from me if they ask for it. We all share with each other our hopes and dreams. We all love each other.

I have a sister and two brothers. We are always there for each other in times of trouble and we get together at least three times a year in addition to phone calls.

I am also closely connected to two sisters of my late wife. I always involve them in family celebrations. My partner loves them just as much as I do.

My 94-year-old neighbour - we constantly help each other in small ways. Sometimes funny. A few years ago she complained to me that she always had trouble cooking on the front of her 20-year-old stove. Her preference was to always use the front of the stove. Her small pans kept moving when they were used on the wok burner. I unclipped the very top of the stove, rotated it through 180 degrees and pushed it back in. Problem solved. She was happy for a moment and then sad. She cried "Twenty years, oh no, twenty years!!!" For twenty years she had put up with that problem, often sharing the problem with her children but never with me. My neighbour loves me and I love her.

I have three close life-long friends who I don't see enough. I hope I can see more of them this year.

 

relational connections – with people who you see regularly and share an interest with, such as workmates or those who serve your morning coffee

 

I no longer teach so that connection that was so important in my life has faded. A weekly community group that I never intended to lead has given me very strong connections with a large number of people. My teaching/learning skills are now in weekly use. I am constantly surprised by the way I and the others around me grow as people.

 

collective connections – with people who share a group membership or an affiliation with you, such as people who vote like you do, or people who have the same faith.

 

This form of connection is potentially dangerous if it allows the demonization of another group. However, supporting my local football team is a good example of this. This has a strong tribal dimension. I am a life member of the local zoo. This has both tribal and philanthropic dimensions. I see myself as part of the scientific community even though I have never carried out any research that ended up being published in the scientific literature. I still see myself as part of the education community even though I let my teacher registration lapse in 2016.

 

All of these connections are part of the man who stands before my partner. These connections and more will be part of the man she has chosen until death do us part.

 

#2020-02-12 10:59:42 by JohnAbbot @JohnAbbot

@melcyan - I have read your detailed comment directly above and I think I will be sometime responding to it.  Your life and mine are so different that I have trouble mentally plugging myself into your world and sorting out the how and the why of your personal relationships differing immensely from my own.

That doesn't mean I am not going to try, but it does mean that I will be slow in doing so. Partly due to my being pretty busy and coming towards a project conclusion that will only cause me to be busier yet. Partly due to some major changes happening to my core beliefs that require me to evaluate and resolve who I now am before I can evaluate the quality of my relationships with the people all around me.

More later...

#2020-02-20 20:42:46 by melcyan @melcyan

Can insufficient connection result in addiction? Here is another video by Hari that was done several years before his video on depression.

 

https://www.ted.com/talks/johann_hari_everything_you_think_you_know_about_addiction_is_wrong?language=en

 

 He explores addiction and finds the key solution to overcoming addiction lies in connection.

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety but connection. We are drawn towards addictions when we are insufficiently connected to our surroundings.

 

 

#2020-02-21 21:32:57 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

Addiction to what? Sex? Drugs? Rock-n-Roll? Alchohol?

Cocaine? Herione?

ALL TED talks are 100% BS

#2020-02-22 11:48:17 by oldghost @oldghost

@paulfox there you go again with rash statements.  First Shakespeare and all the literary geniuses are cr*p, now all TED talks are BS.  Ted talks are light entertainment, occasionally introducing some new idea or technology at a shallow level.  But they are seldom BS; often worthy of light consideration, and because of the interactive script interface useful for ESL students shadowing spoken texts.  Before you step on the pedal, why not try engaging the brain via the clutch (long-winded metaphor I know). 

Your links are always worhy of avoidance.  Occasionally I make the mistake of visiting, briefly, but they always leave a sour taste of 'you knew it, but looked anyway'.  No benefit of the doublt, there is no doubt.

Your words do not merit respect.

 

#2020-02-22 12:44:12 by melcyan @melcyan

@pauIfox1

Addictions take many forms. I have read most of what you have written on CLM both pre 2017 and post 2017. Never have I got the feeling that you are truly connected to other(s). Your 2017 awakening to conspiracy theories and subsequent use of time sounds to me very much like an addiction. You claim to spend 80 to 100 hours "researching" a week on top of your work commitments and other daily routines. That definitely sounds like addiction territory. So far, it seems that your "addiction" is satisfying  your fundamental need for a feeling of connection (all humans have a fundamental need for connection)

#2020-02-24 21:13:41 by paulfox1 @paulfox1


@melcyan

You are correct, sir. I have become addicted to research, but only because it is necessary. Quite frankly, if I am not at work I am researching. I have been down so many 'rabbit-holes' that I could not only give you a guided tour, but I also have a 'holiday home' down there.

I used to say that 'everything is a lie'. This is not true. That saying has now morphed into 'everything is a deception'.

They say that the 'truth' is like an onion, insofar as it has many layers. However, just like an onion, when you discover the truth.....it makes you cry.

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