The other night
the electric company scheduled a planned power outage in our
neighborhood. I remember conversations with the neighbors prior to the
blackout. Some were agitated that their
usual conveniences would be unavailable to entertain them. A friend of
mine came over during
the blackout, and we began a lively discussion about our apparent
need for electrical power to pacify us.
For thousands of years, people have prospered from daily face-to-face
interaction: laughing, singing, playing, talking, telling stories,
confiding, and simply being loved. Since the advent of
radio, TV, internet, and cell phones -- all of this in only the last
100+ years -- one on one interaction has been gradually and
unnaturally substituted by a technological intermediary. Our tech
devices either deliver one way messages to us through streaming
entertainment, or have us sequestered behind our screens to interact.
Our flourishing connections have grown scarce. Again, this
decline in genuine interaction began in just the past 100 years, (not a
long time in human history). The decline in genuine interaction affects
both: 1) Communicating effectively and 2) Learning to love
deeply. If you sense an interpersonal gap between your family and
friends, this toll may be playing itself out in your circles.
While modernism and postmodernism
have both created interfamilial and
cultural barriers, its not surprising that some are preparing for a
revival in the new
millenium, thirsty and ready to rekindle our organic bonds with each
other. Many want to go back to living "the old-fashion way," and it's
understandable. Below are some ideas to begin as "new-old"
traditions. Try a few
with family or friends, and let the endorphines flow, the synapes
connect, and your overall well-being flourish, the way it is suppose
becomes more meaningful when we interact directly with each other. No
tech needed -- and... it's all free!
Turn off, and tune in...
a music tradition in your home. In the car, after dinner, at bedtime,
class. Pick songs you, your mate, your kids, your parents, or your
friends know and love to sing. Sing with existing artists, karaoke, or
better yet someone accompanying on piano or guitar. If you get good
enough, maybe you might want to join a group. Renowned choral
conductor/publisher Frank Pooler once said, "You are never the same
after you've been a part of singing a perfectly tuned chord." There is
symbolic about singing in harmony with others. Most likely it is a
model of what we all wish the world would be like: while everyone holds
a different note, we strive for beautiful harmony.
Turn the TV off and play! Charades... an underated organic
entertainment. Actually, they are
what good actors lean toward, but with added dialogue. Here are
some categories: Personal experiences with your friends/family, movies,
television, books, home
routines, outdoor activities, animals. Also consider Team Charades
creating situational strategies such as school, work place, public
places, travel. This interaction helps develop a powerful dimension of
physical expression, -- independent from the voice -- and its fun.
Another version of this is Pictionary -- drawing a concept to be
A fun and powerful card game to connect with one another. "What
are the four most important things in your life?" and "What do you
think life will be like in 100 years?" Questions go from light-hearted
to introspective on personal views. Listeners respond in love and
understanding -- without judging/criticizing. Originally a board game,
but can be modified using just cards with your own customized /
personal rewards. Click on the link below for some creative ideas to
use the ungame beyond the board by its creator: Rhea Zakich http://rheazakich.com/wp/?page_id=17
A WATER OUTING
Something happens when we get off our land, and together get into a
not-so-made-for-man's-habitat, such as water. From
swimming to sun bathing, to skipping rocks, or even
sailing, negotiating water is therapeutic and healthy, especially when
doing it with someone you love. We
were birthed out of it; we're made mostly of it; the earth is covered
by two-thirds of it. Bonding takes place in the water! Pick a
pool, lake, river, beach, or ocean. The ideas are endless, especially
when you bring along food and drink. Be refreshed with the ones
"Whatever we hear or see, it all
filters through us and
we start to speak it." - Pete Seeger.
Story telling is
an art form. Everyone has a story. Part of the art is knowing: when
to tell the story; how to naturally segue into its impromptu delivery;
and who to deliver it to. When alone, think through what makes a
particular experience amusing or interesting to you. Then, consider how
to interpret it for the right people you know you'll be around. When we
consider our audience, no matter how close they are, they unwittingly
appreciate timing and care you put into the share. Before you know it,
artform will catch on, and those closest to you will soon want to
naturally share their story likewise. Here is one good
storytelling order: •Ha ha, •Ah-ha, •Ahhh, •Amen: 1st) Ha ha! - Letting
other's guard down through a laugh 2nd)
Ah-ha!: Stimulating their intellectual curiosity 3rd) Ah!: Appealing to
4th) Amen! A moral insight/charge we universally agree on for positive
Of course the best
are the simple ones, from the heart.
SNUGGLE UP AND READ
This is for those who are intimate, or those with children, wanting to
spend quality time
with your kids. Turn off your devices, and read allowed a good book
together. Take time in the middle to discuss or talk about the
story/character motivation or where it is leading. If you
choose a book you mutually like, this allows for the imagination to
is going on, and puzzle where the story is headed. It can be a more
powerful form of escape, because between the reader's delivery and the
mutual affection for the story, you rely on each other for a virtual
journey that both your minds manufacture. Again, the story should be a
mutually appealing subject.
Both require the exhilerating use of your own body's strength, carrying
you to points of interest and beauty. You and yours together will enjoy
the sensation of personal empowerment in negotiating the natural
world. Ensure a safe and fun outing researching trails/routes in
advance. Always do a dry run before taking others.
PLAY BALL / FRISBEE
Ball /bôl/ noun. A spherical object of various sizes, used for airborne
play between people. May or may not be inflatable. Playing catch with a
baseball, football, or nerf ball is never out of date. Can also be a
frisbee or kite to share in the goal of sending an object airborne
between people. A simple age old concept with unbelievable bonding
properties! Keep equipment in your vehicle. Impromptu "catch" can
When on your outings, develop a mutual collection that can be brought
back home. My son and I use to collect walking sticks and rocks
wherever we went. In Saving Private Ryan, Tom Hanks collected soil
samples from his travels in WWII. Pictures for an "outing scrapbook"
might be your collection. Make sure it doesn't cost anything, and that
it is legal to take with you. Other collection ideas: coins, leaves,
shells, finds with a metal detector. Imagination: thou art loosed!
Bonding for family or those you are closest: The human touch is
extraordiarily healing. Learning your loved ones stress zones can do
wonders for their whole well-being. When we know someone knows what our
specific body needs for comfort, the human touch naturally fulfills a
TOURS: Admit it or not, every mind is thirsty to learn
something. Major cities have museums with a wide variety of
interest, many with free admission. As well, many public institutions
will announce tours of their facilities such as: manufacturing plants,
fire departments, city hall, presidential libraries, wildlife parks and
more can be found on local websites. Exploring what goes on behind the
world we live in helps enrich our understanding of the bigger picture
around us. And...understanding together brings us together.
GROW A GARDEN
grocery stores, everyone knew how to grow and keep their own
food. This powerful lesson in teaming together lowers people's
defenses, particularly if those people choose to rely on working with
each other for their main
source of food. The satisfaction of raising fresh
nutrient filled food (without hormones or pesticides) is not only good
for one's body, it brings family and community into closer harmony.
From a garden,
a family or community can receive all of the necessary vitamins, carbs,
and proteins to exist, without the need for buying food from the store.
INVITE OTHERS TO
We all need to eat. Why not prepare the food together. Preparing tasty
dishes, can be as equally an important bond as eating it.
Naturally, cooking tasks will fall into those who enjoy and excel at
those tasks. A little conversation, wine, and fine music in the
background always helps keep a warm ambiance in the kitchen. From
prepping, mixing, chopping, seasoning, baking, or setting the table,
there is a creative part of the meal for everyone.
FIREPIT. (For a porch: a fire kettle )
It's warming; it cooks our food; it feels good; it inspires.
nothing like the smell of wood burning. An outdoor fire with the right
wood, can do wonders for those you need to draw close to. Use the fire
prepare meals, have dessert by, tell stories by, confess, sing, or even
asleep to the soft crackle.
In the backyard or: Load the tent, sleeping bags, ice chest of
food ...and make memories under fresh tree-lined skies. From fun
activities, to outdoor education, everyone's natural senses are
stirred. The outdoors and it's beauty have a way of renewing us --
especially with each other. Connect without distractions in a local or
national park. The outdoors: the perfect place to see how little
materialism we need for happiness.
DANCE-- fast, slow
or in the middle...
Before 3rd party media (Radio, T.V. and internet), people knew how to
dance. Some would square dance; ethnic dance; others -- a little light
swing; some folks slow dance; still others well.. a prelude! Today
kind of dance can be a great source of physical activity releasing the
pleasured endorphins with those you love. Play music that you; your
friends; your family;
or your mate connect with -- on any occasion and let yourselves go!
MAKE LOVE -- Turn
off the lamplight, and make supernatural electricity with your
soulmate! Proven for centuries to empower: relationships; ignite
our bodies; align our emotions; and bring joy to the spirit. Take
plenty of time, and fall in love with each other...over and over again.
Recipient of 8 "Excellence in Media" Angel Awards