On making friends and building community

I’ve become a fan of Jenny Anderson’s articles on Quartz of late. She covers topics like life, parenting, and happiness and her notes on all of these resonate. The piece I enjoyed today (here) was on making friends, building community, and the metric of success that both matters and is ignored. I hope you find time to read it. Here’s a powerful bit at the end –


I used to think that community was as simple as having friends who bring a lasagna when things fall apart and champagne when things go well. Who pick up your kids from school when you can’t. But I think community is also an insurance policy against life’s cruelty; a kind of immunity against loss and disappointment and rage. My community will be here for my family if I cannot be. And if I die, my kids will be surrounded people who know and love them, quirks and warts and oddities and all.

In future-proofing my life, I have made every day richer. A problem shared is a problem halved, my kids were taught at school. Communities do that too. I arrived in my version of the soulless suburbs, and it turns out they are not soulless at all.

Warren Buffett, a friend of Gates, says that his measure of success comes down to one question: “Do the people you care about love you back?”

“I think that is about as good a metric as you will find,” wrote Gates.

I’d concur. Keep connecting with people, and in time, you will have a community.


Wishing you nice, connection filled, weekend.

A long PS: A follow up on the LinkedIn Premium post – a couple of you wrote in asking if you could be “picked.” That made me cringe as I was hoping to avoid any such connotation. I wish I’d been more thoughtful about how I’d phrased what I wrote.  The intent was to help anyone who was searching for a job in a small way – job searches are hard. The good news is that I reached out to a few of my colleagues for help yesterday and many of them have generously offered their subscription gifts. So, we should hopefully have enough for all those of you going through an active search within the next few days.

And, related, I just started work on the team working on job seeking at LinkedIn. As you might have gathered from my many posts on the topic, this is a problem I’m grateful to be working on. We know there is plenty that needs to be better in our product and are working hard at it. All feedback on what is working and what is not working would be helpful and appreciated. Thank you. :)