The blog this week was written by Jennifer Goodwill, a Community Broker at The Arcadia Institute. Living well. What does that mean to you? Is it a nice house, money in the bank, lots of friends, a fancy job title. I recently heard someone say that a white picket fence represents happiness to her. While she didn’t go in to detail about why that makes her happy, I can imagine based on her other comments that it represents security, family and maybe even a sense of accomplishment. I’ve been thinking about this myself and wondering what does living well really mean to me. As I think about this, comments from our recent forum, Building a Community of Belonging, have been playing through my mind. The day of the forum concluded with individuals sharing about their hopes and dreams for their futures. While their answers were all unique, there were common elements found in all their stories that reminded me of how our humanness connects us all. Elements that I believe get to the heart of what it really means to live well. These individuals with different abilities and different backgrounds all talked about getting married, having a home to call their own, finding jobs where they are valued, and, quite simply, having the freedom to pursue their interests. Our answers to what it means to live well will be as varied as the people responding, but it seems that connections to other people and doing something meaningful are qualities that really matter to all of us. So, what does living well mean to me? Sure I enjoy vacations, fine dining and living comfortably. But, what really matters the most is that I want to love and be loved. I want to provide for myself and my family. I want to feel a sense of purpose and be a part of something bigger than myself. I want to know that my life matters and if I was gone tomorrow, I would have made a positive impact in the world around me. When we take the time to get to know people and listen to them, we can get past the discomfort of our differences and find there are many similarities that bind us together. What does a life well lived mean to you? And, more importantly, what opportunities do you have to share that would enable someone else to live well?