The most important connection, first of all, would be with oneself. One needs to be relatively familiar with and in tune with oneself before one can significantly connect with others in adult life. Often, we see and meet people who are chaotic, ‘lost’, merely role-playing, and living on surfaces. I think one has a better chance of avoiding these limited/limiting, distracting types if one knows oneself, is relatively organized and focused, basically connected with oneself. We are, each of us, entitled to know ourselves–to be our most authentic selves in the contexts of society and nature. In that, a significant responsibility to self and others.
Family, of course, is our next most significant connection. They are with us from birth and in and out of our lives when we are adults. Family works best when it is mutually respectful, somewhat nurturing, and without imposed personal agendas. To parents, one owes the most, since they raised one and invested a fair bit of responsibility, care, and love to one’s development. With family, one can usually/optimally most be oneself. With children and grandchildren, there is also a special teaching-learning experience that brings parties closer together. And even with serious illness and death, there is much to be learned from parents and other family members too–basic lessons of connection and love.
A few good, close, true friends emerge and remain true over the years. The closeness of connection and intimacy draw people together when there is kindness, trust, and mutual disclosure. Betrayal of one kind or another and agendas test friendship. It is always best when people are and can be themselves with friends, exchanging the basic gifts of self. Humor is often the glue of friendship, as is sharing in areas of mutual interest. It is truly enjoyable to be with friends with whom there is that common interest and free type of exchange and giving.
Then there’s that something we might call love–perhaps the most mysterious connection of all, the one that even bring two very different, strong individuals together. How does one describe or even begin to make sense of deep inner feelings? What is it like to trust deeply, accept, know, understand, appreciate, and savour another person as up-close-and-personal as one can get? (And vice-versa–pretty rare stuff.) In that, the mystery of love–a very powerful ‘drug’ and experience that often heightens purpose and mutual freedom. If one has only had a single, very deep exposure to love, one has come much closer to understanding others, to general empathy, to personal fulfillment/completion, and to a natural, sublime free state that opens up special meanings and purpose, as well as all of one’s inner resources. In many ways, love embodies heightened, soulful, spiritual living–a major, transcendental expansion of self, possibilities, and consciousness.
And so it is the individual who decides on and chooses what significant connections to have. Sometimes individuals like Mother Teresa or Walt Whitman even open up themselves to the multitudes. More often and typically, there are simply the people of one’s immediate circle/day and oneself. Again, the latter being the person that one lives with every day inside. And that is never a bad place to start with any choices or consideration of significant connection.