Connections as Currency

On my last blog entry, I talked about maintaining and re-establishing relationships with people and other things that you love, that you might’ve fallen out of touch with from your past.

Following up on that principle, I’d like to talk about how our relationships (friends, family, co-workers, friends-of-friends, etc.) are the real currency of our society. Now, I realize that only the best and most charitable of friends and family will be paying your rent, or buying the groceries. But that’s not the type of currency that I’m talking about, here.

It all comes back to favors. Favors given, favors received, things that we do for other people which can and will in-turn result in things done back for us. I keep up on a blog by Jamey Stegmeier, one of my modern-day heroes, and the main emphasis in that blog is creating and maintaining relationships with like-minded individuals, with the inevitable outcome that those relationships will ultimately be rewarding for everyone involved.

I’d like to talk about a personal experience of mine along these same lines. It was almost 2 months ago that Sandy Petersen invited me to meet with him and his family at his parents’ house in Provo. I got to hang out with him, his sons, and meet his wife, parents, nephews, nieces, cousins, and other family. For those of you who haven’t kept up on my blog, and have no idea who Sandy is, all you have to do is crack open any book published by Chaosium, that has to do with the Cthulhu Mythos, and the first thing you will see is his name. You can also find it on the list of credits for games like Doom, Halo Wars, and a bunch of others. Prolific guy.

While visiting with him and playing his new game that’s coming out this year, I made friends with his son, Arthur Petersen, who seemed to immediately click with me, and we shared long conversations about gaming, mythology, and various other topics of my own personal (and apparently his) interests. Arthur is a great guy.

He and I had been communicating via text and email ever since the meet-up, and I’d been talking to him about my project, Gladiators: Days of Blood and Glory. He sounded really excited about the project, and really wanted to play it with us, but circumstances looked to prevent us meeting up again before we release the game publicly. As a matter of conversation, it came about that I had offered to mail him a prototype copy of the game for him and his family to play, and he had, in turn, offered not only to play-test the game, but also to do a review video for us, and to give us a plug on their new game coming out, The Gods’ War.

This is a huge opportunity for us. The last kickstarter put out by them grossed 1.4 million, before even factoring in the later increases in pledge via the post-kickstarter pledge-manager. By my estimates based on production numbers that Arthur had shared with me, that number is probably closer to 2.5 million now. That’s thousands of backers that they already have as a diligent following, not to mention the hundreds more that they gain at events like GenCon, and others.

And just like that, Arthur, for no price other than our friendship, had agreed to do something that, while costing him nothing more than a few minutes of his time, could end up completely funding and even overfunding my project. All of those thousands of backers will get sent a link to my project, which will feature a video with Arthur in it, endorsing my game. I was immediately floored.

This is the importance of your friendships and relationships. While, in my case, this resulted in a direct monetary gain, not all that glitters is gold. Our lives and experiences are shaped by our relationships. Constantly, we have the ability to positively affect those around us in dramatic, and even life-changing ways. A few words, a few minutes of our time, a couple of favors called in can turn the course of someone’s life toward the better.

I will only briefly mention the tragedy of Robin Williams’ death, another personal hero of mine. His death, like many others of its kind, was the result of many people like you, me, or someone you know NOT taking those few simple minutes to be kind to someone who is in our thoughts. Someone whom we have not connected with in ages, or who might be wrestling with their own demons right now.

Jamey constantly reinforces that you should take 15 minutes out of each day to find someone that you know, maybe someone that you haven’t spoken with in a while, and give them a simple thank-you. The more personal, the better. If all you can manage is a Text Message, that is fine, but a letter, a card, a phone call, or even a personal visit, even just for 15 minutes, can do miracles for these relationships, and in turn those relationships could do miracles for you, just as Arthur is doing for me.

That is all for now. Comments are enabled, so please share your stories with me about personal miracles that your friends and family have done, or maybe some way that you have helped out someone you know, or a suggestion on how we can all do this for one another.

And, of course, “thank-you” to each and every one of you, my readers.

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