The risk of letting others do your work: Loss of connection

When I let others do my cooking, I hand over control.  And, in handing over that control, I sacrifice connection.  When I choose to go fast food over home cooking, I’ve removed myself from the connection between food ‘au naturel’ and finished product.  There is risk-reward in letting others do your work.   


No human, or brainy computer for that matter, can track all connections.  Sometimes a leap of faith is required; e.g., even though I don’t know all the supply chain connections required to make a city bus, I believe in the value of public transit.

Yet, getting your hands dirty in some connections work is a good thing, especially when it comes to people living and working, together.  A collaboration without regular connections work is on shaky ground.

Work worth doing, for connections sake

1. Your relationships.  Offloading relationships work is never a good idea.  In the big picture, it leads to fractured communities, income inequality… When your United Way contribution acts as a proxy for direct interactions, of any kind, with the people being served through your contribution, human connection is lost.  When your company profits rely on externalized costs, and you are ok being divorced from impacts beyond your turf, relationship and human connection are lost.

2. Your communications.  To communicate means to make common.   When you let someone else convey your message, with or without your approval, is the connection still there? Is the connection between intent-action-effect, of effective communications, still there?  Did they do you right?  I’ve been married to the same woman a long-time.  Asking my wife to communicate on my behalf works pretty well.  Still, there are contexts in which I’m wiser to handle the communications in first-person; i.e., do the work myself.

3. Your conflicts.  This one hits close to home; both because daily living is full of potential conflict moments, and also because of the impact of mediation practice, on my life and work.  There are perils galore in letting others handle your conflict work.  We lose connection, not only in the situation-at-hand (e.g., by relinquishing control to legal), we also lose the connective potential we all have, to better manage conflict, and to learn and grow, from our mistakes.

Making choices

“We are all connected.”   Reassuring thought.  What’s not so comforting is how we pay attention to some of our connections, and ignore others.  Are you paying attention to the right ones?

Back to food…. In this powerful RSA Short, Michael Pollan shares how cooking can change your life, and why “you can eat anything you want, just cook it yourself.”

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” Special occasion foods become every day foods when we let industry cook for us.”

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