The Glue That Holds Things Together

Something is missing. I can feel that it’s gone but I couldn’t really put my finger on what exactly it was and how it was now missing from my life until a friend pointed it out. Glue. I am missing “glue” from my life at the moment. We moved our family 3.5 hours south for my husband’s job and we’re starting fresh in a brand new town that is connected, vibrant and full of young families.

In texting with a friend from back home she was talking about getting together with our group of friends and said, “I miss you. You’re our glue.” I read this and my eyes instantly filled with tears. I have had a passing thought over the years about my friends scattered all over the places we have lived – USA, Canada, Japan and Taiwan. Oh the places we’ve gone and lived! I still keep in touch with those friends and I see on social media that they all keep in touch with each other. The common denominator amongst all of them is – me. I knew each of them from one of the many places we’ve lived and I’d connected them to each other.

This concept of being the “glue” again bubbled to the surface after I went to an informal IAP2 Chapter event recently. While standing in line at Starbucks for my tea, I listened to the barista address the people in front of me by name. She asked how their morning was, how work was going and how their kids were doing. She was genuinely interested and engaging with the regulars she obviously knew. Glue, I thought. She’s the glue here at Starbucks. She’s making connections and holding things together here.

This got me thinking about the “glue” we often encounter in communities when we go to host events. There’s always that one community member who is connected. They know people, they can provide you with insights and information and they can be your ally to help raise awareness about your project. In another recent Ottawa session I overheard someone say, “Every community has a Moses.” Come to find out Moses is the provider of compressors and equipment in a remote Arctic community where construction is beginning on a high profile government project. Moses is the man. He’s the glue in his community and he can get things done.

In our projects we’ve often called these folks community champions or community weavers. But really, they are the glue. They make the connections and open their hearts and minds to us so that we may do our job and deliver a successful event.

Reflecting back on my friend’s comment, I take it as a huge compliment. I am in a new town and new environment and I will need to put myself out there so I can do what I do best – connect people. Do you have someone in your life – work or home – that you consider your glue? I’d love to hear your thoughts.


Erin Pote