When my Dad and his brother were young they had (what seemed to me, when I discovered it many years later) a huge Meccano construction set.
My own brother and I were in awe of it, even though it had grown a little corroded when it became our turn to play with it.
Housed in a big old wooden box, it exuded an oily smell, leaving your fingers bronzed and powdery with rust after you’d handled its parts.
There were the flat green struts of all lengths, each with its series of holes drilled at regular intervals.
There were the ‘L’ shaped sections, again with holes along their lengths, which added strength to your construction.
There were gears, axles and cranks of all sizes.
And big clunky clockwork motors which drove your crane, robot or cable car system.
(A lever on these could throw them into reverse gear when required. Even robots have to backtrack at times.)
But of course none of these component parts would have been of any use whatsoever without the vital nuts and bolts which allowed them to be fastened together.
As individuals, perhaps you and I are a little like single components in a Meccano set.
We’re all different, each ready to make our own unique contribution to the world we live in.
Without the nuts and bolts, however, we’d simply be a collection of loose parts.
So what is it that connects us together? I think it’s our relationships with one another.
Sometimes, quite simply, our exchanged nods in the street.
The Meccano set’s nuts and bolts were its tiniest parts, not terribly inspiring really, but it made huge sense to look after them.
What connects you to the people around you? Maybe it’s a good time to recognise the importance of the connections themselves, perhaps to do whatever it takes to ensure they’re in good working order?
Don’t allow them to get rusty.