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Jim’s Corner


A Time to Reflect

April 4, 2020
A time to reflect by Jim McCann

A Note From Our Founder, Jim McCann

We are facing an unprecedented challenge. Our professional and personal lives have been upended. The way we work, study, socialize, worship and more will be different for some time yet. Unlike crises past, this is one that affects every one of our families.

A Time to Reflect

If there is any silver lining to this crisis, it is that we are being pushed into a heightened state of consciousness. I consider this kind of situation a “forcing function”. The term dates to the 19th century, but it’s most often used today, in user experience design, to describe a feature that prevents someone from taking action without giving it their explicit attention.

For me, a forcing function prevents us from living our lives on autopilot. By disrupting our normal rhythms, the virus is forcing us all to take a closer look at our lives. Some things that seemed important in our busy daily lives may no longer seem as critical. And now we may see more clearly the people and experiences that deeply matter.
A time to reflect by Jim McCann
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Making a Plan to Connect
with Friends and Family

March 24, 2020
staying connected tips by jim mccann

Thoughts and Advice from Founder Jim McCann

“If there is one silver lining to this fast-unfolding crisis, it has been remaining in close contact with my immediate family. I am lucky in that my three grown children and grandchildren are all (relatively) nearby. Over the last four or five days, I’ve had many more conversations than usual with my son-in-law, my daughter, and my two sons. Even while I worry about what they’re feeling – anxiety, fear of the unknown – all this contact has made me feel better. Today, I suggested that we have a daily conference call for the four of us. We first tried it this morning. We talked about real things, no nonsense at all. It was reassuring and, I think, healthy. I heard their concerns, and we talked about problems and solutions, namely, what to do if someone gets sick.

I suggested previously that you think about the people in your life you want to connect with – or even connect with on a more regular basis – and divide them into four groups: friends, family, coworkers and neighbors. I urged you to develop a contact plan and get into the habit of checking in on a regular basis, for your benefit and theirs.

I also would encourage you to use the amazing new communication technologies available today – Zoom, FaceTime, Skype, Google Hangouts, etc. – to create regular group conversations among your family or specific groups of friends. If you have older folks in your circles who have never embraced a technology like that, do them a favor: Call them and walk them through setting it up. It will change their lives. In these anxious times, it’s more important than ever that they can see familiar faces as well.”

staying connected tips by jim mccann

Jim's Corner

Thoughts on Staying Connected from
Our Founder Jim McCann

March 19, 2020

“Against the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak, I’ve had four conversations with four different friends that were deeper, more emotional, and more honest than I can remember having had in the months that proceeded. The steps we take to keep ourselves safe – whether isolating or breaking up our normal routines – can also exacerbate our feelings of loneliness, even fear. Knowing we’re all experiencing these feelings in different ways is all the more reason to make the effort to connect. Here’s what I would suggest.

Jot down a list of people – even just three, four, or five – under the following headings: friends, family, coworkers, and neighbors. Develop a contact plan for the days and weeks ahead for those you should be reaching out to on a more regular basis. It could be an aunt who lives alone, or far away, that is taking this outbreak especially hard. It could be an older neighbor, or neighboring couple, who may be isolating as a precaution and may need help or just company. Some you may want to contact every day, some every week. These need not be long conversations – they can even be emails or tags on social media.

What I know is that this will make them feel better — and you, too. I certainly felt this with the friends I spoke to recently. They felt an empathetic release, and I did too. You’ll offer comfort to these friends, coworkers and relatives, and you may find benefit and greater intimacy that will, one day, pay dividends. At the end of this period – and rest assured, it will end – you will emerge with more, deeper, and better relationships.”