One of our main SPACIOUS tenets is that we are FOR things and not AGAINST things. And because of that I almost refrained from posting this op-ed piece from CNN because it got retitled from the title I’ve given this post, above, to a politically motivated title as the day wore on today. And we’re not ever going to be about espousing candidates or parties, nor certainly about criticizing them either. There’s too much that we can all agree on to get into all that.
I was thinking about some potential Facebook status updates that would get my attention and make me feel hopeful about the human condition. I’d love to see any of these:
A SPACIOUS PERSON…
says, “No more limits.”
…found four new bands to listen to this week.
…is open to hearing things she’ll likely disagree with.
…spent some time this morning just lying in the grass doing nothing but staring at the sky.
…just treated the stranger at the next table to a coffee.
Generally when we enter a room or social setting, we either telegraph an attitude of “Here I am” or “There you are!” It’s worth thinking about which we hope to project, and how we’d do it. Here are some ways to engage others:
1. Rather than asking people what they “do” (implying work), maybe you can ask them what sorts of projects they are working on or what excites them these days (acknowledging that it may or may not be their work).
I met my husband 32 years ago today. The story involves a raccoon coat, a mud puddle, a five-minute conversation, and then a call to my mother to tell her I’d “met the man I’m going to marry.” To which she replied, “What about your boyfriend?” (but that’s another story!).
We talked about soccer (not exactly a passion for either of us), and that’s the only topic I remember. We laughed about something, and it seems that we forged some connection over finding the same,
Mostly we walk around looking down at our phones. When was the last time you walked around looking up… not so far up that you tripped over tree roots or fell into construction pits… but just more up than down? Do you remember?
What would it be like to wander down the street or sit on public transportation ready to connect with others or simply sitting and noticing what’s going on around us? People might even be suspicious if we were actually looking around instead of staring down at a phone or at the floor.
SPACIOUS is a state of mind. That’s our vision. I’m a big believer that every individual matters enormously, so if even one person had his or her life enlarged by our venture, by the possibilities we hold up, by the ideas we espouse, by the events we create, by the actions we recommend, then we’d be a success.
If a whole bunch of people were thus inspired, well all the better. For what are bunches of people other than conglomerations of individuals?
A subscriber to our site, Hannah, sent me an email after she signed up. I loved “meeting” her online, and I was also dumbstruck by one line in her email. She said, “It must be hard to keep your life spacious in the real world if you are keeping it so spacious on the web….”
Oftentimes I know what I need to pay particular attention to if it makes me feel like I might burst into tears; that’s a subtle clue!
I love, love, love this idea. It’s a “do good bus” that people ride, without knowing where they are going and without knowing exactly how they’ll be doing good. Part of the fun of having one’s own venture, like SPACIOUS, is being able to learn about what others are doing and give them shout-outs. So this is a big shout-out to the “Do Good Bus” people, who are helping non-profits, individuals and groups in Los Angeles.
I’d like to hand them a “Silver Lining”
My son used to have a band called Awkward Silence. But the funny thing about that band was that, as far as the rest of us in the family could tell, the band was — well — silent. Awkwardly so. In that it had no other members and no actual instruments. It was a band that existed only in the space between this creative child’s ears.
Since he’s since gone on to other creative pursuits that have tangible evidence of existence,
“Stranger danger” is not relevant to me. Oh sure, I’d avoid running off with someone who asked me to join a cult or threatened me with a weapon. But short of that, I love meeting new people and often get involved in conversations quicker and for longer than many of my companions would generally choose.
So a while back, I decided that in honor of all the cool people I met in my daily wanderings, I would inaugurate a “stranger of the week”