The air was cool so sweaters were donned, as we strolled down the railroad tracks for a short walk into the sunset. Deep in lively conversation, we were suddenly startled by a voice. Off of another trail someone was looking for directions. We stopped to help, and quickly learned we had fun commonalities. Our short evening walk became much longer than anticipated by this random encounter with a new railroad friend. Eventually, we showed him the start of the trail he was looking for, and exchanged contact information. All of this was sparked by a book that I am currently reading, “Before Happiness.” My new RR friend is friends with the author, Shawn Achor. Being open to connections through random meetings, and being passionate about reading and learning, has sparked a new friendship.
I’m sure most of us can share similar stories of connection and friendship. We are all connected in some way, not only with other human beings, but also with our natural world around us. The geese flying south and the squirrels scurrying to gather acorns, remind us that a new season is on its way. The downed trees in the rivers remind of us floods of the past. And, the people that we pass by and exchange a smile, spreads happiness. But, have you ever thought of a book connecting people and sparking friendships?
Here at Well U, we are starting a book club. Our book club will help us to connect faculty and staff from all campuses, in all departments, through the interest of a common book. “What Really Works,” by Paul Batz and Tim Schmidt is a book about spreading goodness. They touch on the importance of holistic wellness with oneself, so that we can be the best for the world around us. We will be discussing their philosophy about the 7 F’s (Faith, Family, Finances, Fitness, Friends, Fun and Future). Paul and Tim provide food for thought to implement strategies to improve our overall wellness, to help spread goodness. As a book club, we will discuss one of the 7 F’s each month, and our goal is to take action to improve our wellness. This is a new Well U program, and we are excited to experience the transformation along with you. If you haven’t already, please find a book and start reading. Our first meeting will be in October, so mark your calendars.
And, remember, books can help create friendship, improve intellectual wellness, and as we will experience in our bookclub, will help us to reflect on ourselves to make positive changes in all areas of wellness, if we are open to it.
So, who is your railroad friend? Has a book ever connected you before? If not, I encourage you to be open to these random experiences and friendships. And, of course, I encourage everyone to join our book club, so that we can meet in person (or via google hangout if you are not in Duluth), and all have another story to share about books and connection.