Guest Post from Meet-Up CEO via my email inbox: Powerful 9/11 Community Story

Posted by Teen Bean in , , ,

* Meet up is a powerful networking website that helps people interested in any variety of topic(s)
actually get off the internet and meet each other in their local community. I find it really worthwhile....
check it out if you don't know what it is about... then read this inspirational post their CEO just
emailed out!

Fellow Meetuppers,

I don't write to our whole community often, but this week is
special because it's the 10th anniversary of 9/11 and many
people don't know that Meetup is a 9/11 baby.

Let me tell you the Meetup story. I was living a couple miles
from the Twin Towers, and I was the kind of person who thought
local community doesn't matter much if we've got the internet
and tv. The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I
hoped they wouldn't bother me.

When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors
in the days after 9/11 than ever before. People said hello to
neighbors (next-door and across the city) who they'd normally
ignore. People were looking after each other, helping each
other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being

A lot of people were thinking that maybe 9/11 could bring
people together in a lasting way. So the idea for Meetup was
born: Could we use the internet to get off the internet -- and
grow local communities?

We didn't know if it would work. Most people thought it was a
crazy idea -- especially because terrorism is designed to make
people distrust one another.

A small team came together, and we launched Meetup 9 months
after 9/11.

Today, almost 10 years and 10 million Meetuppers later, it's
working. Every day, thousands of Meetups happen. Moms Meetups,
Small Business Meetups, Fitness Meetups... a wild variety of
100,000 Meetup Groups with not much in common -- except one

Every Meetup starts with people simply saying hello to
neighbors. And what often happens next is still amazing to me.
They grow businesses and bands together, they teach and
motivate each other, they babysit each other's kids and find
other ways to work together. They have fun and find solace
together. They make friends and form powerful community. It's
powerful stuff.

It's a wonderful revolution in local community, and it's thanks
to everyone who shows up.

Meetups aren't about 9/11, but they may not be happening if it
weren't for 9/11.

9/11 didn't make us too scared to go outside or talk to
strangers. 9/11 didn't rip us apart. No, we're building new
community together!!!!

The towers fell, but we rise up. And we're just getting started
with these Meetups.

Scott Heiferman (on behalf of 80 people at Meetup HQ)
Co-Founder & CEO, Meetup
New York City
September 2011

Posted by Teen Bean in , ,

Needless to say its been busy. save spending a million characters explaining all that has happened to me sense July I will just say that I've successfully relocated to the UK and gotten married... and married life rocks!!!

Steve (my new hubby) and I have joined a prayer community here called Colchester Boiler Room. After our wedding I've pretty much just slowly eased myself into the Colchester or 'Chester-ville' (as I like to call it) lifestyle.

The hardest part of this transition has been the slowing down. There is something about being in community that slows you down about 100%. All of the sudden my skills that got me through days of working full-time, being in graduate school full time, volunteering with my church leadership team, helping organize a local community, and being engaged/planning an international wedding... just didn't seem to matter.

It's as if the people here function by a different code of survival. And man do they utilize the spiritual gift of lingering. By the end of my first week I was so frustrated with how little was accomplished each day that I just sunk into an attitude of reclusion. I figured if going out was going to result in so little being accomplished then I might as well stay in.

That didn't help matters either.

Days seem so long. Nights even longer.

Who knew facebook had an actual limit to how much time I could spend on there??

So after I refreshed my facebook and twitter pages for the millionth time I decided maybe trying things a different way might be better.

So I woke up one morning and did something I haven't done in ages... I only put two things into my diary for the day.

1. Go visit Colchester Boiler Room

2. Read Red Moon Rising

My day was amazing. I had time for people. Suddenly I was hearing peoples stories. I was able to settling into the life that was around me AND ENJOY IT! That odd guilt sensation of feeling rushed or that I had to get to my next meeting was gone and there was just this comfortable sense of being.

I was reminded of this book I had read "Radical Hospitality" by this Benedictine monk. He had reminded his audience that living a lifestyle of simplicity didn't just mean wearing a straw hat, carrying a pitch-fork, and making lots of bread... but it also meant simplifying your life schedule by actually scheduling in space for nothing.

In just the last couple of weeks those spaces of nothing have been the times that I have most genuinely experience the community and relationships I so long for. All the sudden I'm wondering, What if while I live here I make it my goal to do more nothing?

haha as a good friend sat on couch in my brand-new honeymooning flat and said "Remember Tina, its quality not quantity".... my newly married, newly communal, and newly Chester-ville self would have to agree! wink wink....