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Physically Meeting New People Posted Jun-18-2005
Application of Creativity Tip #3
Creativity Tip #3 is "Make it a point to meet new people outside of your demographic."

People inspire me. All kinds of people. Not just those who share the same interests, passions, and beliefs. I enjoy meeting people of all ages who come from a variety of backgrounds and traditions because they teach me.

That's right. I'm not a know-it-all. My way of doing things isn't always the best way. And there's so much in the 'banquet of life' to eat! Like that saying goes, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?", I'll add: "You can't experience everything. You don't have the time!"

That's where other people come in. They help fill in the blanks for me. When I meet someone who has experienced something in life that I haven't, I become like a curious sponge with questions ready to absorb any tidbits they care to share. I gain something from that exchange and walk away with something new that I didn't have before. This is true even with children. (Hint: If want to change your perspective for a while, join in with a group of playing kids.)

We all compile a novel's worth of life experience along our individual paths just waiting to be shared. Some people are privileged with an exciting worldly life full of travel, adventure, and other amazing things, but I think an average number of us live quite ordinary lives balancing education, work, family, and play. Our limited time is spent on raising our families, paying our bills, and enjoying the in between lulls exploring our passions. Average isn't bad: even those who live quiet lives have done things we haven't. And that's why I love meeting them!

Okay, now about the "physically meeting" part. I certainly won't knock any of the virtual friends and acquaintances I've met online. Their part in teaching me and expanding my world is one of the greatest gifts I am thankful for each day. But striving for balance, I've realized the importance of keeping in touch with things in the real world despite the ease of behind-the-screen socializing. In other words, we benefit from PHYSICALLY being in the company of other people. A (((hug))) isn't the same as a firm wrap-around-the-other embrace, is it? Besides, when we are in the company of others, we experience their total human-ness (and they us), and that really draws us closer and completes the learning circle.

Keeping in step with Creativity Tip #3 (i.e. practicing what I preach) I recently became a member of a non-profit organization emphasizing spiritual growth, psychological well-being, and creative development for women (and men) in all seasons of life.

Having already attended a few functions and workshops, I've noticed that a majority of members are significantly ahead of me in age and life experience. Instead of wishing there were more people my age to relate to, being with those outside of my demographic encourages and excites me. Why? Because unbeknownst to them, all of the seasoned, wiser women I cross paths with will become my mentors. Their life stories, spiritual experiences, and artistic perspectives will inspire and teach me.

Now how could that *not* be exciting? (© 2005 Chris Dunmire)

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