Tuesday, July 19, 2016

NO ORDINARY CONVERSATION--SHAPING A CULTURE

GROUPS ARE A BLESSING AND A CURSE.  HOW TO GET THE BLESSING AND AVOID THE CURSE IS THE CHALLENGE BEFORE US--OUR BAND OF BOONDOCKERS.
Pictured below is one tiny (but important) aspect of the challenge: Group conversation.

Here we are, with some guest,  in the cool mountain air of Leadville, Co, (elevation 10,000 ft)
This is no ordinary conversation, however, this is more like a salon conversation. (read more if you're curious)  Basically salons are focused, intelligent conversations  for pleasure and information exchange,where one person talks at a time and addresses the whole group.

Our group has "organically" evolved into a mobile salon. I remember this session in particular as fun and hilarious:  We discussed periods in our life when we were a Jerk---and how we escaped jerkdom.
Here is another organically evolved tradition of our group:  A SOAPBOX.  Whenever one of us feels very strongly about a point--we provide this stool for them to express themselves as forcefully as they choose.  Here, Kathy is making an impassioned defense of Mexican culture,

RANDY PHILOSOPHIZES:  HOW WONDERFUL IS ENLIGHTENED CONVERSATION.  How different from idle chatter and contentious bickering.  I am delighted with the quality of our people and our interactions. I picture our conversations as a tumble of ideas----and like rocks in a tumbler polishing each other. 
I have no grandiose notions---but I remind my readers that one focused discussion group--organized by Benjamin Franklin in Philadelphia (he called it his Junto) generated ideas and actions that gave America it's first fire department, street lights, lending library and the University of Pennsylvania.

EVOLVING A CULTURE:  A culture is a shared pattern of behavious and interactions.  Our intention is to "organically" evolve our culture--Just feel our way along--discussing issues as they arise. We sharply distinguish "traditions" from rules--the latter imposed--the former invented by consenus. Here are a few current traditions and some I hope are on the horizon:

We define ourselves as a mobile band of boondockers--No designated leaders--. 

Have separate rigs and money and usually travel separately---assembling at an agreed upon place.

Use electronic connectedness--phones--text--facebook--emails.

Membership by invitation

Respect privacy--rarely knock--prefer texting.

Encourage members to leave and reconnect at will.

Purpose: to enjoy and enrich our lives.

On the horizon--not yet fleshed out--is a proceedure for dealing with any tensions that might arise and an exit proceedure.

15 comments:

Debra Dickinson said...

Robert and I enjoyed being guests in your culture group for a few days. Thank you for making us feel welcome, and for the campfires and stimulating conversations. I probably should have stood on the soapbox a time or two. :)) Happy trails and safe travels to you all. See ya down the road sometime.

Randy said...

Thank you Debra; we enjoyed your and Robert's presence and participation. And of course we all enjoyed the presence of Bob Wells--founder of CHEAP RV LIVING blogsite and The famous RUBBER TRAMP RENDEZVOUS.

kaBLOOnie boonster said...

Nothing would make me more optimistic about this "alternative lifestyle" than to see a dozen other groups start imitating yours, not in everything perhaps, but in the Essentials.

Be careful about trying to practice too much social engineering on the group. Most people resent the effrontery of a would-be social engineer. Say what you will, it comes off as being "top down."

Randy said...

Boonster: I think you're right---suggestion heeded. Why not join us for a session--enriching our Salon with that big brain of yours.

Tom Banks said...

Randy, I have been enjoying your blog for 6 months or so now. Thank you.

Having participated in a few, and liking the idea of, "socrates cafe" discussions, your band has the perfect combination.

Enlightened conversation, but with a fluid (and mobile) ever-changing group. A polite, enlightening , contributing, or move on group.

I am hitting the road in two months. Would love to meet up with you and the merry band at some point. R.T.R perhaps.

Randy said...

Tom: "socrates cafe" --what a great description of our salon or coversations. Sounds like you would fit in nicely. When you hit the road--give me a shout and I'll tell you where we are.
I look forward to meeting you. My email is randythepoet@yahoo.com

Haniye Asghari said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

wtf? I don't get the Arabic.
Bushman

Randy said...

Nor I Bushman--maybe one of my readers will interpret for us.

Anonymous said...

It is Persian and seems to be various links to different companies. Seems a troll visited the site.

Anonymous said...

A troll or a spammer ?

Randy said...

don't know--I just trashed it.

Patrise said...

I've been enjoying Bob's blog for some time and am delighted to find yours. This lifestyle and community type really appeal to me, and I'm dreaming about hitting the road...

Your use of Salon and Soapbox is a great way to encourage expression and more importantly respectful listening. allows people to consider new ideas. I really want to know more about Franklin's Junto now!

Keep on truckin, and I'll be reading if not riding along.

Nancy Baumeister said...

Hi Randy, I remember you at the WINs camp at lake Roosevelt last year getting conversation started with a big topic. Uneven participation. Some people prefer shallow and don't wish to show deep feeling or true thoughts. I however crave real connection and to be honestly known. I look forward to seeing you and the traveling community next winter in the desert.

Susan said...

I hope to meet up with this band of philosophers one day! :-)

Onward!
Susan