Where does an old storyteller go to find an audience that will gather around a fireplace and listen to his stories? In this generation the only fireplace people gather around to gaze and listen is the computer/online/ on the web. So I decided to publish my new book Kindling Spirit: Healing From Within, on Reality Sandwich, where it would be read by an internet community of 100,000 readers who share a common passion about how to sustain themselves (and the planet) in a civil society.
I also decided it was time to expand my platform by getting into the social networking world of Facebook. A year ago I had 50 friends, and I knew all of them personally. I decided to send a Facebook friend invitation to their friends, figuring the people they liked would be people I’d also have a connection with. I invited 10 people a day
and within six months I had 1,000 friends. Most people accepted invitation, without any personal note, a few wrote back asking “do I know you?” and I ignored them. Once I got this detailed note, “why are you friending me? I know we have a number of people in common, but I don’t believe I know you. If you have some reason for contacting me, feel free to send that message, but please don’t continue sending empty friend requests”.
I wrote back “lighten up, trust the serendipity of the universe, it might allow for new awakening. He wrote back “thanks for the advice and the actual message. As much as I’d like the universe to awaken me, I’m afraid that Facebook friend requests are not going to do the trick”.
And so it continued, I told him I understood the limitations of this medium and shared his reluctance about engaging in its superficialities, but I’d also discovered the magic of serendipity. The right people coming together at the right time, maybe there is something we need to learn from each other.
I forwarded the link to the first chapter of my book which had just appeared on Reality Sandwich (www.realitysandwich.com/kindling_spirit_part+1), and asked that if he found anything in what I wrote that connected us in this moment in time to let me know.
Indeed our paths crossed at a propitious moment, each of us telling a story the other needed to hear. So this stranger who insisted that if I wanted to be his friend I needed to be clear as to why; got me to look at what I wanted in a Facebook friend. Now, if I get a friend request without a personal note, I have the courage to ask why they are seeking me out.
I have made connections around these new fireplaces that inspire me and love to tell the stories; but my grandchildren are absolutely ecstatic because then they don’t have to bear the burden of my endless lip flapping.