Porch Time in November

Back in the days before Google conquered the earth and enslaved its people, families would sit on their front porches in the evenings and discuss the news of the day. Wandering neighbors and strangers would join those conversations and the strangers became new friends.

The internet keeps us connected 24/7. But are Facebook updates and 140-character tweets really an acceptable replacement for face-to-face conversation?

Margaret Mead was a cultural anthropologist who lived from 1901 to 1978. She authored 20 books, received 28 honorary doctorates and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Margaret valued and loved her front porch days, saying, “No society has ever yet been able to handle the temptations of technology… We have to use our scientific knowledge to correct the dangers that have come from science and technology.”

Our Front Porch Project may be an impossible dream in these painfully divided times, but when you learn to “think globally yet act locally,” we trust the value of human connection in the stormy sea of technology and strive to provide gathering places where ideas are exchanged, conversations begin and friendships blossom–the kind of place where Margaret Mead and James Michener and Stevie Ray Vaughn would come.

Margaret Mead left us this word of encouragement: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Join a conversation, attend a Front Porch event, volunteer some time or make a tax-deductible donation to keep The Front Porch in the here and now.

I want to call your attention to five important events in November:

  1. November 12Logos Collective with Nick Courtright and Kimbol Soques @ Lazarus Brewing, 7:15
  2. Pub Church at Scholz Garten on November 17th (5:30-7pm) with Dr. Kristin Neff and musician Wendy Colonna. Dr. Neff is at the forefront of the “self-compassion” movement, an approach towards self-development that goes way beyond self-esteem: it’s a way of understanding self and others that has been adopted by world leaders such as the Dalai Lama, Bishop Desmond Tutu, and Brene Brown. Wendy is one of Austin’s most popular troubadours, with her swampy, Cajun soul.
  3. Bailey Lectures: November 21, 23-24. This year’s Bailey offers perhaps the finest cultural thought leader we have ever hosted—Dr. Steven Shankman! See details in this newsletter.
  4. November 24—Interfaith Action of Central Texas (IACT) annual day of thanksgiving @ Riverbend, 3pm. This is hosted by the great Hindu community.

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