Connect: Thinker Kris Merkel

Connect: Thinker Kris Merkel

Connect: Thinker Kris Merkel 2560 2560 THINKER THURSDAYS™

Longitudinal Friendships Matter.

Lunch in Big Sky Country is a reminder that 30+ years of friendship matters; and that’s something longitudinal research from Harvard backs up.

A late-summer Thinker Thursday™ lunch took place, out west with a dear friend in 2018. That week’s Thursday found me sitting down with my ol’ buddy from Presidential Classroom, Class of 1987. As high school seniors, we adventured through the halls of Congress and beyond in Washington, DC — a world of opportunity in the palm of a big hand.

Thirty-one years later, Kris Merkel and I are still chuckling together.

Kris is now the founder and CEO of S2 Corporation in Bozeman, Montana. In that beautiful setting, he puts three physics degrees to use on behalf of the federal government. (Nope. Can’t really ask. Dr. Merkel’s company does deep dark techy stuff with photonics, radio waves, and crystals. All top-top secret.)

But Dr. Merkel was gracious. He explained it all in middle schooler terms and then listened to me prattle on about the importance of disconnecting from wifi and pursuing margin.

That said, reconnecting in Montana has become an annual blessing. What we most enjoyed was turning to the topics of parenting and family. Father of two darling gals — and married to another — I’m blessed to follow his backdraft and glean advice.

It was heart-fulfilling to enjoy a couple of hours of catch up. I feel smarter for it. And my journal is brimming with reflections on friendship and margin.

It all reminds me that Dr. Robert Waldinger’s TED Talk about that longitudinal study focused on the “good life” is spot on. Friendships ground us and friendships matter.

But longitudinal friendships matter the most. If needed, let’s go reclaim some and pour into them.

#ThinkerThursdays2018  #PresidentialClassroom  #ThinkerThursdays  #GoodLifeStudy  #LongitudinalFriendshipsMatter

Here is Dr. Merkel’s LinkedIn profile and S2 Corp’s website.
Here are some accolades about S2 Corp’s award-winning work.
Here is a sense of the impact S2 Corp has had on local MSU research.

1987’s high-schoolers explore DC.
(Kris, far-left; Devin, far-right)

Read. Connect. Reflect.