Bigger is Better? Not Anymore
Have you ever been involved in an experience where you suddenly became an observer of the moment rather than a participant?
That happened to me this week.
I first discovered the idea of becoming an “objective observer” when I read the play Our Town by Thorton Wilder. This play uses several metatheatrical devices such as “breaking the fourth wall” (i.e., speaking to the audience) and adding an additional narrative to allow the audience to have a personal interactive experience with the story on stage. Brilliant and innovative for 1938!
So this week, I’d met-up with a small group of friends—some of which I haven’t seen since before COVID—and at one point during the conversation, I energetically stepped out of the discussion and observed the interaction.
As I watched and listened to the conversation, I realized a few things:
- I’ve really missed gathering with these guys over the past two years
- Our group loves to share their wisdom and teach each other new things
- The fact we had a small group fit the conversations perfectly
After these few minutes of observation, I jumped back into the flow and picked up where I’d left off. Just like they did in Wilder’s play.
As I left the restaurant, I felt energized, uplifted, and refreshed. I also realized this powerful and poignant segment of my day was all that I needed to satisfy my social cravings this week.
Whereas before COVID so much of my time might’ve been filled with big and busy experiences, I’m now appreciating smaller bursts of social interaction.
I prefer small and intentional over big and busy. And this is good.
By having our activities reduced to contact with only family and close friends during the pandemic, we’ve had an opportunity to appreciate the depth and richness of gathering small.
What a gift!
How have your connections with others changed since the pandemic, and how do you appreciate those relationships differently now?Share your experiences in the comments. I’d love to learn from you.
To your continued health and happiness!
Michael Thomas Sunnarborg
P.S. Interested in a small intentional cohort (only 6 people)? I’ll be gathering another group in June. Learn more at michaelcreative.com/engage