This time last week, I was getting ready to speak for the first time at PechaKucha Night in Baltimore, at Midtown BBQ & Brew. I was bouncing around between nervous and excited but couldn't wait to get through it. PechaKucha Nights are an informal gathering of people who tell a story, share their ideas, and share pretty much anything they want to talk about. The tricky part, is that you have to present in 20 slides, with 20 seconds per slide. This presentation format is called 20x20 and it really takes a lot of practice to master. I haven't quite mastered it yet, but my talk, "What If We Weren't Strangers?" helped to get me comfortable with this presentation style and with storytelling in general.
What If We Weren't Strangers?
Have you ever wondered that? I have. Several times actually. But specifically, this question came to mind when I was on my way back home from Cambodia in 2012 and the Philippines this past March. I thought to myself, if this notion of 'stranger' didn't exist, how much richer our human interactions would be. A natural comfort level would exist that currently doesn't. And things that happen outside of our circles, wouldn't seem that foreign to us, because we'd realize we're more alike than not. That's what my PechaKucha talk was about, imagining for a moment that the idea of 'stranger' didn't exist. I believe that if we were less stranger-y, we'd be one step closer to living more harmoniously and caring deeply about the concerns of others. Others who may not look like us, or sound like us, but at their core are...us.
Major thanks to my friends who came out to support and to Chip Dizard for nudging me to do this. Sometimes it just takes a little pushing to do something you've never done.