“No man is an island.” John Donne
The Lord God said, "It is not good for man to be alone." Genesis 2:18
As I look back over the last eleven years that we’ve had our little haven of community, I think about what has changed. Some changes have been for the better: like our increased inventory (aren’t these pictures hilarious! They are from the day we opened!!!), and the left-turn arrow. Some have not been as wonderful, like when they changed our address and GPS and UPS couldn’t find us for weeks. One of the biggest changes, of course, has been the Internet! When we opened, we processed credit cards with a modem, and we were the primary source for product education. But YouTube has really changed things for us. You can literally find out how to do ANYTHING on YouTube.
Of course, that’s been hard for us and for many small businesses (think of your local bookstores). But it’s also impacted society – believe it or not. Even with as connected as we are electronically, we are more alone than ever. I have just started reading Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, and it’s really speaking to me. The book was written by Robert Putnam, a Harvard professor of public policy, and published in 2000.
In this book, Putnam identifies “social capital”. This is much more than just networking, because the community that forms improves the lives, not only of the individual, but also of the society surrounding it. I’m going to talk more about that in future posts, but I wanted to give you an example from my experience here at the shop. We offer FREE make-and-takes every Thursday. A couple of single ladies started coming every Thursday after work, so they ran into each other here frequently. A friendship developed that began to extend outside our walls. And one day, one of the ladies came in during the work day. I asked her if she had the day off. “No,” she replied, “Jane had a dentist appointment, so I took the day off to drive her.” That is a thriving community that only happens when people get out and meet each other. I will give more examples of that, too, as I add to this blog.
Lots of research has been done to indicate that community is important. In order for community to thrive, we all need to participate. We are increasing the times, days and kinds of workshops we have available to try to meet your need for community. Please join us! There’s no community without you. We have FREE demos every Tuesday from 12 – 2. We have a FREE make-and-take project every Thursday from 10 – 8. We have crafting workshops several times each week. And we’ve now added a more holistic series of workshops to our offerings this summer. I have scheduled the first Guided Meditation workshop for Wednesday morning, June 4 at 9 AM, and the Affirmations Box workshop for Monday evening, June 9 at 6 PM. We would love to see you at any of these offerings and share in your lives.