The Experiment: Day 122 ~ We ARE The Village!

There is a wonderful African proverb — “It takes a village to raise a child.” — that was used by Hillary Clinton in her classic book It Takes A Village, in 1996. I was deeply moved by this then, and it has come to mean something to me in a different light today. It has to do with the fact that as we become more and more dependent on the internet we are, a great many of us, becoming less and less involved with real people in the real world. I won’t go into all of that now but I watched an amazing TedTalk today by Susan Pinker, “The Secret To Living Longer May Be Your Social Life.” She talked about some of the longest living people on the planet, many of whom live over 100 years, in one of the “Blue Zones,” the Italian island of Sardinia where the resident’s long lives are being attributed to “their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions.” I believe that this is very important too. We must cultivate and nourish our real life relationships. It’s crucial. But there’s something more as far as I see it.

We are now able, through this miraculous medium, to connect with people all over the planet, something we were never able to do before, and we are meeting people and making friends in a whole new way. But then we can turn off the computer and feel lonely and alienated from those we long to know better and connect with in a real way. And I think that while real life connections are vitally important, we are missing out on mining a rich resource — the whole new world opening up to us through the internet — if we don’t actively seek and find ways to become more real and present to these new friends that we are making, to make the most of them any way we can. It is about building communities, and they are beginning to crop up in little pockets everywhere. I belong to some and I cherish them. And further this is not just a blog, this, too, here, is a community. Look at the Live Feed widget down near the bottom of the right hand column. Every single day people from all over the world come to this blog, almost 2 million since it’s inception 10 1/2 years ago. We commune with each other through the comments after the blog posts, and a great many people write to me via the contact form, or send me e-mails, or friend me on Facebook. And the technology is just amazing.

One of my very closest friends, Bekah, and I, talked on the phone for years for hours at a time. It was a precious friendship and I treasured it with all my heart. BUT, by the end of last year we were not talking on the phone anymore, no, now we Skype every week, we will be Skyping again tonight for the second time this week, and one of the most wonderful things ever is that on Christmas Eve Bekah and I were up until just after midnight Christmas day wrapping our Christmas presents together over Skype! For hours! We had so much fun and I went to bed in such a state of joy I just can’t tell you! This is real life, face to face, communication. It has opened up a whole new world to me which is very special and important to me because I rarely leave my house, I am online off and on all day. The same is true for a lot of people I know. A lot of older people who were cut off from the world once they couldn’t get out and around anymore now have friends and connections and communities online that light them up and help them not feel alone. And shut-ins, the disabled, agorophobes, and also people who work out in the world but come home and feel very alone are finding community online and it has changed their lives. It has saved many a life.

I have had several communities online and some friends I’ve had now for 20 years. My long-running Dragonfly Cottage Community For Women introduced me to some of the most important and special friends of my life. Today I am involved in a few communities on Facebook that are very important to me, but the thing I am most excited about, as I mentioned the other day, is the whole new world that has opened up on Patreon. A whole new way to have active community, a way to have live meetings and sharings, a way to come to you via video, say, and also offer live Skype calls one to one each month for those who pledge at that level. There are so many possibilities I am simply amazed. I am a little overwhelmed with the technology! but I want to learn how to do all of this because I want to move further out into this whole living world of the internet and really reach and touch people, as individuals and in groups. We ARE the village. If it takes a village to raise a child it also takes “a village” to create communities that will enrich and enliven and expand our lives in whole new ways. I believe Patreon is what I’ve been waiting for. I’d love to hear from you if you would like to be part of my new community on Patreon. I would love it if you would join me. Please let me hear from you about this. More information is coming soon!

I am excited, and I am scared, but in accordance with a saying that I love, “Just do the next right thing.” I know that Patreon is the next right thing for me. I am going to begin building it, slowly, and expanding it, slowly, over the next year and more. I will come to you from right here at my desk with my pugs all around me and scores of wildlings just outside my window. I want to be real and present to you on more than this blog. I believe this is what I was meant to do. Look, this is us, this is where we are…

Right click and open image in new window. Where are you?

… and we can all meet, right here, through amazing technology. We are the village and we are the WORLD. I want to reach out and touch you wherever you are.

I know I mentioned Patreon the other day. I will be talking about it here and there as I figure this out. A lot of amazing and wonderful people are doing work and have created communities on Patreon. I think it’s the wave of the future. At least I think it is for me.

And the marvelous thing is — and I really want to get a big world map and put it on my wall here in the studio — I now know people all across the world. I want to put pins in the map and see where you all are. This idea excites me no end. Come say hello to me here in the comments wherever you’re from. I really do want to meet you.

It’s wonderful to be able to be with family and friends face to face, but I think it’s downright miraculous to connect with people all over the world. And it’s what I want to do. And I’m figuring how to do it right now. I have said since my first community 20 years ago this year, “Each one, reach one, and love, always love.” This is where I begin again. It’s time.

The Experiment ~A 365 Day Search For Truth, Beauty &
Happiness: Day 1 ~ Introduction To The Project
“Do or do not. There is no try.”

If you enjoy this blog a donation would be deeply appreciated to help me continue to bring “Maitri’s Heart” to you. Thank you, and many deep blessings to one and all…


  1. Hello Maitri, I so agree with this Facebook, Skype, Facetime and other ways to connect on Social Media. It is so wonderful to be able to connect this way. Through Facebook I “met” a dear friend in Sweden. We so enjoy Skyping when we can. We are co-creating a Free Creativity webinar coming in February that we are very excited about. I remember one day she and her family were traveling to Northern Sweden and I got to chat with her as she was riding. Amazing!
    I know nothing about Patreon. Does it cost? How could we connect there?
    I am so glad I met you through your blogs here on Social Media.

    Love, Jean

    • Hello Dear Jean! Yes, so many ways to connect! And how wonderful that you met a dear friend in Sweden! I have a friend of many years now in Sweden whom I met online. And one of my closest friends today is in Belgium, and another new and dear friend is in Germany, and there you are right here in NC! 😀 Such an amazing world it is these days.

      And yes Patreon is a place where you can support the people whose work you like and believe in and have a more personal way to be in touch with them and all that they do and offer for one donation a month, as little as $1 a month! For every different pledge level that you join at you get more and more access and wonderful things. It is the way I look to support myself in a way that feels good since people can join for only $1 a month!

      And of course I thought of YOU with the smiley face graphic!



  2. You are so right about us all being part of an internet village. And while I value this village so much, in this year of focusing on myself & stretching myself, I started an adult enrichment class based on the Julia Cameron book, “The Artist Within”. I’m very proud of myself for talking myself out of not going to the very first class last Thursday! We are a small group of five (including the facilitator), but I think that’s better for me personally! So, I’ll keep exercising my social “muscle” for the next 12 Thursdays, because going makes me feel empowered, energized & invigorated!
    And, my friend, I would love to be included in your new venture!

    • Oh Susan how absolutely wonderful that you are doing the Julia Cameron course. I think she’s just marvelous! You will grow a lot through this work, I just know it. I am so happy for you! You will have to check in and tell me how it went when you’re finished with it. I see wonderful things for you ahead! 🙂

  3. Victoria SkyDancer says:

    Of course I will join you in your Patreon community, though it may be at the smallest level at the very start. And I also have Skype on my computer. 🙂

    • Good Morning Darling Victoria, and I will love having you in my Patreon community and it will happen but as you will see in today’s post, which I will write shortly, it will be awhile. I need to SLOW down with the whole process. The work that I am doing now needs to be given full attention before I go Patreon but it will definitely happen in the right and perfect time! I’m glad you’ll be with me sweet V. 🙂

      • Victoria SkyDancer says:

        No worries. Take all the time you need. 🙂

        • Thanks Victoria honey. This is a mysterious journey and I am doing the best I can day by day. What else can we do? Sometimes we get excited and go too fast and have to reign ourselves in and at other times we can’t seem to get our keester in gear. As long as I show up here every day and do my blog post I’m good. Hope you are well honey… <3

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