A couple of months ago my friend, Cyndi Briggs, introduced me to the concept of Social Capital. Tonight the magic of Social Capital changed me. (Tweet THIS!)

Social Capital has to do with the people, actions, attitudes, environments and processes that make up our community. In varied ways, the contributions of individuals aggregate to create this Social Capital.

Magically, when it all gets together the whole is more than the sum of the parts. It’s magic, really.  

Real. Everyday. Magic

.Just like fantasy magic there is good magic and bad magic with Social Capital – depending on the parts. Sometimes communities get capitalized (Socially) in a way that makes for nasty places to live. Fortunately, I’m living in a place where magic is good – not perfect but perfect might just be coming closer.

Enter Compassionate Winston-Salem. 

I was invited to a gathering tonight of @CompassionateWS where some individuals (a pretty diverse group of people) sat around a table and wrote love letters – to unknown, unidentified strangers. The letters will be used next month during a Compassionate Cities emphasis. Good idea. Yet, tonight was very personal. 

I spent about an hour hand writing love notes for random people. I wrote poetry, pithy sayings, reminders for self-care and self-acceptance – all targeted at imagined people. I wrote each note, casually imagining the manner of person that might find the note or the situation in which it would be read. Would a homeless person stumble upon it and find the energy to try one more day? Could a stressed-out business executive find it and in reading it receive a small reprieve? Would a worried mother or challenged dad get a leg-up from the pause and reflection the note offered them? As I imagined these possibilities a strange, magical thing happened. I felt better. I connected with a larger hope. The love letters, yet ungiven and unfound, became love letters for me. 

I laughed. I joked. I smiled big goofy smiles and made heart shapes with my fingers. I drew love hearts and overused exclamation marks!!!! 

One person there said, “I feel like I’ve bonded with you people and I don’t even know you.” 

I left with some new friendships, a renewed spring in my step and delightful anticipation of the times when these notes will be read…which I can’t tell you about. It’s a secret. All magic is.