You say there's a connection

When you say there's a connection between this and that, I'm suddenly full of questions. The mere mention of a connection sets me up in discovery mode. I'm full of wonder, fascination and curiosity. I'm wary of knowing too much already and jumping to foregone conclusions. Here's some of what I usually wonder about when someone says "there's a connection":

  • I wonder if there is a causal relation where a change in this correlates with a change in that, either positively or negatively.
  • I question whether the connection is really acausal, like the classic "chicken & egg" problem where the closed circuit eliminates this coming before that.
  • I suspect that the connection is illusory, supporting an explanation for why this happens when that occurs, but lacking in proof.
  • I explore downplaying the connection, as if it's really insignificant, sporadic or inconsistent in some other way.
  • I investigate the possibility that the connection is much larger than proposed, yielding huge impacts, side effects and long term consequences.
  • I wonder if the connection eludes observation, measurement and verification because it follows a pattern of:
  1. a slow, undetectable buildup until it reaches an obvious critical mass
  2. a flaring up at the slightest provocation and then disappearing when the stimulus gets withdrawn
  3. a delayed reaction as if other components need to be assembled prior to making or using the connection
  4. a pulling back a sling shot, pendulum or spring-loaded mechanism prior to release in the opposite direction
  5. an oscillating between two extremes without stabilizing in the middle
  6. a combining two oscillations which either amplify or dampen the fluctuations
  • I question whether the connection is robust, resilient and sustainable under variable contexts or adversary pressures.
  • I suspect the connection can become disconnected, alleviated or moderated by some intervention, attrition or neglect.
  • I query the origination of the connection and the preliminary conditions that support the formation of the connection.
  • I situate the connection with other connections to discover if the connections compete, provide viable choices or synergize in some way.
  • I seek to enact the connection to get a feel for going there or for taking that route for getting from this to that
In other words, mention of a connection between this and that opens the mind to a phenomenal amount of reflection and collaborative inquiry.


  1. Interesting. Your "connections" are so methodical. It is possible just to have a gut feeling of a connection and to "know" deep down that it is right regardless of proof.

    In our society, this is considered illogical and unscientific. And yet, I know there is a connection to my daughter getting a meningitis shot and her erratic behavior for 4 days following. I can pinpoint the minute she came out of it. Yet my doctors, the pharmacists, the FDA, and others don't have proof, so they tell me there is no link. But I can feel it in my gut and it does not matter what others say. It doesn't matter if 10 years from now they prove it; I already know.

    This does not exclude anything you have written in the post, but adds to the fact that for some of us the connection can also motivate us to open others eyes, close us to others viewpoints, and frustrate us when others don't see the connection or need a different kind of proof before they believe the connection.

  2. Thanks for adding a another facet to this, Virginia. I am also very intuitive at times and Myers Briggs profiles confirm that I am "high N" every time I take it. I would consider our intuitions one more connection to make from our rational minds. Lots of people say they are intuitive, but don't have proof, results or other evidence to substantiate their claim of that connection.

    I share your frustration with those who demand "scientific proof" of something that happens the same time every time. Most of our connections become sources of variety in our lives rather than uniformity. Limiting connections to proven laws or principles seems as absurd to me as confining legitimate food to only the processed food that comes packages - no farmers' markets and home grown gardens.

    I'll explore the other side of this in my next post: when we say there's no connection.