The Talk to Strangers Campaign is a phrase I’ve been circling around ever since I visited Ireland, discovered that folks there are not only willing but warm in their conversations with strangers, and decided that the lack of this practice must be what was troubling the U.S. Polarization was a problem then, in the Bush years, and it hasn’t gotten any better. Now, I’m much less sure that I know how to solve the country’s problems – indeed I’m positive that I don’t know how to solve even my own region’s problems – but I still think that a willingness to talk to, and listen to, others is a big part of what’s needed.
The current incarnation of this site is as, I hope, a compendium of ways to connect. A resource for those who wish to stop talking past each other. Since I know I don’t have the answers, I will be pointing toward others who I think have at least a clue. Some of this will involve face-to-face communication, or pen-to-paper, and, since I believe in the importance of stories, much may be focused around theatre and books and other once-upon-a-times. Very little of it will involve digital communication (which has incredible potential, but I haven’t yet seen it bring out the best in us) or anything particularly commercial. Some of the suggestions will be things I do, some things I aspire to do, and some things I’m horrible at doing but still see the value of. My knowledge and range of experiences are limited, so if you think there’s something I ought to post about that I haven’t, I hope you’ll share that with me. Although as I write this, on this rather neglected corner of the web, I’ll just be happy and a bit surprised if you find your way here.