THIS THING CALLED ‘SOCIAL CAPITAL’
With Odongo Odoyo
Until yesterday when my kid brother sent me this message l want to share with you, l did not take seriously to coming closer to know something called “Social Capital.” This is why we must accept that learning is a continuous process. Those who have refused to accept this facts are those without vision and mission.
We live in a new dispensation of the world where everything is on the touch button therefore big or small elder of young continued learning not only in the class is a must take for all generation. It is with this take and hope that you will understand the full meaning of this thing called social capital. “There is something in life called “Social Capital.” The people you know; the people who know you and how they know you.
Quite unfortunately, people think or behave like social capital is only needed on weddings and burials. Sadly still, others harbor a sense of entitlement that makes them take other courtesy for granted. That is why you see someone will not have contacted you in ten years but out of the blue they are sending you a message, “Hello so and so, long time. Next Sunday is my pre-wedding. I need your support.”!
Social capital is not built overnight; it is reciprocal and does not need money (especially in this virtually connected world) to build. It just needs being sensitive that people have emotions and that you can’t sneak into their lives only when you need help.
Social capital is massively important and when built and used correctly, it can make a very big difference to one’s quality of life. It can save you money, make you money, get you a better job, make things easier and safer, it can save you from prison, or save your life: it can save you time and effort, and make life more enjoyable and productive.
As we progress through the year, please learn to connect with people in your circles. Check on people, send someone a birthday message, check their timelines and comment something positive and inspirational. Pick your phone and call someone, or text them. It could be your relative, your colleague, your former schoolmate, a former or current boss, your CEO, your parents etc.
Creating a connection with people is important for building your social capital. And even if they don’t respond, at least keep in touch and don’t just reach out when you are in need.
Most importantly, respect everyone no matter their status in life and be there when others need you. Be a solution, an encouragement and inspiration. Avoid being a leech, a user or nagger. Just be a nice person who in a calculated way stays in touch with people and brings joy, encouragement and hope. Don’t take people for granted. When people help you it’s not because you are good but because they are just good people.
The most important asset you have in life is not your job, money or title; it’s people. Your network is your net worth.