Marie is a member of the I.M. Heart Investment Club. She is a natural at investing. She smiles at people she knows and strangers she meets on the street. To her friends, she is the best listener in the world and there to encourage during good times and bad. Sharing a good joke or laughing makes her day. She is one of those special people who bring sunshine into the lives of others. She lives from her heart, sharing her warm disposition, bright smile and caring nature with those around her.

She is perfect example of a member of The I.M. Heart Investment Club. This is an influential organization. This investment club has the mission - not to invest in the stock market – but to invest in people. There are many ways to do this through simple acts of kindness and caring. We can have more influence than we can imagine. Our individual actions can alter the course of history or simply make a difference in the life of another person.

We are all part of the family of mankind. The life of one person is not lived in isolation. Every individual is influenced by the actions of others. There is great need in this world for each of us to connect to others – from the heart. We would all benefit from more kind souls willing to take a few extra minutes to offer a word of thanks, to extend a helping hand, or to be patient and listen to us. Person to person – we need to take better care of each other.

Connecting requires communication - a complicated process of seeking to understand the real message given by another person. That message is sent through body language, voice and words. Body language is 55% of communication. It includes eye contact, facial expression, posture or stance, gestures, territorial space and touch. In addition, the sound of a persons voice, whether it is fast or slow, pitched high or low, is 38% of the message. In a voice, you can hear hysteria, peace, resignation, joy or fear. Both body language and voice let us know how someone feels from the heart. We can tell by watching and listening to someone if they are tense or relaxed, and happy or sad. The actual words we speak account for only 7% of our message.

In our daily interactions with people, face-to-face, we depend on these body language and voice cues to fully understand the “between the lines” or the real meaning behind the words spoken. In Internet communication, both of these components are missing. We are left seeking to understand only the words, with 93% of the message not available to us. We are missing the connection of my humanity to your humanity – my joy to your joy and my pain to your pain. Our common bond is our humanity and we have lost touch with each other. In an age when the virtual community is growing in leaps and bounds - using only words as our bond to each other, how do we connect? If we were all feeling great it would not be a question. However, since I have published I.M. Heart, I have had several people speak up about being alone, lonely, depressed, or desperately trying to cope with the lack of genuine, healthy human contact.

A few weeks ago, the show Boston Legal had a commentary on the value of healthy human touch, hugs and the desperation of being totally isolated from human contact. One person testified that he was depressed and the picked up a phone and dialed a message just to hear a human voice. Another spoke of the value of a warm, loving hug at a time of upset and confusion. One said he was saved from depression by the entry into his life of people who cared and gave that human connection. One of the reasons I watch this show that it often focuses on our common human vulnerability as it echoes pertinent social or political issues. I was fascinated that this topic was one of the major themes of this segment.

I.M. Heart is about connecting, person-to-person. Consider this: each of us sends out personal energy to those around us. This energy can be happy or sad, negative or positive, loving or fearful. As we send out this energy, we affect others, life experiences, and the world in general. We send out rays of influence. They radiate from us like circles in water when a rock has been thrown in a pond.

Here’s how you can be a member of the I.M. Heart Investment Club. Everyday in every way, through our choices and actions, we can send out loving energy to others. Let our circle of influence be one that makes the world a better place for those around us as well as for all the strangers we have yet to meet. The more we give, the more love multiplies. The circle of influence grows as people pass it forward. As our circle of influence grows, it connects with other circles of influence. Circle by circle we can change the world. By connecting we can create miracles.

Author's Bio: 

The focus of Sue McDaniel's career has been in education, teaching, and state government. She has traveled nationally and internationally as a speaker and consultant on management and communication topics. At the state level, she is a speaker on personal growth topics. During her tenure as Executive Director of the Missouri Women’s Council, she spoke to numerous college classes, women’s groups and state government conferences about the power of personal growth and change. I.M. Heart was published in November 2007, by Alternatives.