Scanning through my Twitter feed I found the following quote: "The best feeling in the world is knowing you actually mean something to someone." This caused me to pause and reflect. I started to think about the people that mean something to me, and reflected on what I might mean to them. Then I thought about people who are isolated, and may have limititations in social capital. This brought some sorrow to my heart.
We know that social capital refers not only to our relationships, but to the value they bring to our lives. This value is often measured in tangible (instrumental value), intangible (emotional value), and things that help us (informational value). But reading this quote pushed the notion of social capital to a deeper level for me. It caused me to think not just about my social capital, but to think about "meaning."
The notion of "meaning" is a philosophical concept. I remember years ago reading "Man's Search for Meaning" by Victor Frankl, a deep, contemplative exploration of surviving the holocaust; or college philosophy classes where we discussed the meaning of life. These discussions, or readings seemed complex and complicated. Yet, in a way, meaning is really not that deep. It is found all around us, embodied in our social capital.
In the end, most of us are blessed with people in our lives, relatives and friends, who, in the end, bring this meaning to our lives. Yet there are many people, who are isolated, or severely limited in social capital, that are also limited in meaning. This doesn't have to be. If we awaken to the potency of social capital, and consider strategies to help people build social capital, in a way, we help bring meaning to people's lives.