I am not a particularly sentimental person: when I heard about Friends Re-United I was unmoved, and I am not especially keen on Facebook, although I have found myself reconnecting there with some great people from my past. What surprises me is some of them seeking me out!
What staggers me, though, is what has happened via my old friend, LinkedIn! It does require you to complete your profile, and you don’t really feel complete till you do. That took me nearly two years, but once I had done it, things accelerated in a weird way.
I completed the universities and colleges I had been to, and then for completeness I thought – why not? – I entered my old school, The Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone. I was there for long enough – seven years –but I have never been back. One’s memories too are mixed – some good things and some not so good.
Once I had triggered the association, however, I discovered a Group of Harveians on Linkedin, which I promptly joined. Before I knew where I was, I was happily chatting to the Moderator of the Group, and then linking to other members, and even discovering people I was in class with way back then.
I find myself very satisfied with this. In fact so satisfied that I have joined the non-Web based Old Harveian Association, and now intend to go down to their Annual Dinner on the 5th December – and may be will meet ex-class mates, ex-teachers, and less likely but ex-enemies from all those years ago (the Sixties, for those wondering!). Hopefully ‘enemies’ can easily become friends after the distance we have travelled.
The point, I guess, is that it is easy in our atomised society to be always moving on, to discount the past that has served its purpose. But I increasingly realise that part of our mission is to make sense of our lives and part of that is to return to the child-like (not childish) and open state we had at the beginning.
Thus, relaxing into the past could be very motivating – where (for some) there is no trauma too great or unbearable - and a joyous and re-invigorating experience. It invites one to think: how this all contributed to the puzzle that is our life now. And forty years on (nearly for me) that is challenging – five or even ten years after I left, what the school had done seemed obvious. Now?
If anyone reading this is from the Harvey Grammar, or knows anyone, then please get them to contact Mark Harrison - http://uk.linkedin.com/in/endlessleisure - who is doing a great job drumming up support on Linkedin. And the LinkedIn link is: http://www.linkedin.com/groups?gid=105051&trk=myg_ugrp_ovr.
Look forward to more connecting in due course! And, see some of you on the 5th December!