Not long after I settled into my favorite chair this morning, an old friend started a conversation on Facebook.  New friends started conversations on Twitter.

My day crossed theirs in the weird hour that’s not night and not morning. As their Saturday night ended, my Sunday morning was beginning.

And we found a place to connect.

Real, authentic connections are powerful.

In order to make authentic connections, we need to be intentional.

We have to initiate connections, start conversations, ask questions, and be ready to listen well.

We will need to: send the first tweet or text message, open a chat window, send an email, write a letter,pick up the phone, drive across town to knock on a door, stop what we’re doing to spend time with the people we share space with daily.

When we initiate connection with others, we create something powerful and enduring.

In order to make authentic connections, we need to give to others.

We give our time, first.

We give our attention.

We give consideration, kindness, respect, encouragement, or praise.

We may give our expertise, our knowledge, our thoughts. We may give advice or direction.

We give admiration. We give love.

We give ourselves.

We give with no expectation of  receiving anything in return. We give for the sake of giving, for the joy it brings to others, and for the pleasure of connecting with others.

And, what I have found is this: when I give more, I have more.

I give encouragement, I give love, I give time, I give grace, I give hope, I give passion —and  it pours down on me, overflowing, faster than I can give it away, never depleted.

It’s an upside-down equation that never varies.

From these early morning hours, I carry a renewed commitment to initiate real interaction with others. I am refreshed by the gift of connection from my friends, old and new.

Tell me something! What refreshes you? What is your favorite way to connect with others? What can you give to others today?