Each month as an OS intern, I am privileged to have a consistent presence shaping my work: the Massachusetts Taskforce to End Loneliness and Build Community. This initiative brings together experts, innovators, and community leaders dedicated to exploring themes of loneliness, social connection, and healthy aging across the state. In our quest to understand and address these issues, the task force fosters a culture of intention and care that I’ve been so inspired to be a part of.
The CONNECT series, in which I had the pleasure of participating with Debbie, has been a vital component of this initiative, serving as a platform for discussion, allowing individuals to share insights, experiences, and solutions to these issues. In an episode entitled Connecting Spiritually, I really enjoyed being able to articulate my experiences of faith in university life and share ideas revolving around connection among young people. This work feels so necessary, especially in times when the world seems shrouded in darkness. In the face of global turmoil, with war disrupting lands holding profound historical significance, the start of this new year has felt heavy. Enacting hope and peace can be challenging when confronted with the cruel reality of international conflict. However, within the lament, suffering, uncertainty, and fear, we can stand strong. We can continue to sing, pray, and work towards God’s vision of love, holding onto the belief that, despite this season of strife, our collective efforts can make peace a reality.
I am blessed to engage in this meaningful endeavor, where my contributions as a young person are valued. It’s a privilege to witness others navigating the process of service and solving conflicts rooted in community. This humbling initiative has not only connected me with individuals who believe in the transformative power of change. It has also strengthened my faith in the collective future we can envision, construct, and embody together.
As we navigate through this winter season, let us persist in our efforts to cultivate peace in a world yearning for it. Amid overcoming obstacles to connection and community, may the upcoming months draw us nearer, fostering a sense of togetherness as we collectively contribute to shaping our communities. Here's to uplifting one another and fostering positive change in the year 2024.
For those eager to join our journey or explore the impact of the CONNECT series, you can visit EndLonelinessMA.com to see their rich catalogue of episodes and more.