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Posts tagged ‘people’

Introducing ‘People’

colorful crowd celebrate cheer experience

Have you ever heard the expression “people make the experience?” It’s a pretty self-explanatory idiom used to express how in certain cases what and where you are doing something is less important that who you’re doing it with.  It’s a tribute to the mindset that anything can be enjoyed –from waiting in line at the DMV or getting stuck out in a rainstorm—when you’re with the right people.

It’s a sentiment I share and I think it’s one that most people would agree with. For one, it’s something I think everyone can relate to. I think everyone has had an experience that has been improved just by being with a group of fun friends.  On a deeper level, I think it’s the people themselves that create a great community.

To illustrate this, just imagine being a part of a community that sounds really interesting, like ping pong, for example. Now think about how that community of ping pong players would be different if you didn’t get along with the rest of the people or thought they were boring. Ping pong is a ton of fun (at least to me), but with the wrong people it’s just as unexciting and undesirable as a tax auditing community (no offense to the tax auditors out there).

Worse, you might begin to see this ping pong community as nothing more than a responsibility you have to organize events you don’t want to go to and coordinate plans with people you don’t want to see.  You could lose sight of the love you had for ping pong and the reason you joined in the first place.  To create an awesome community the setting needs to be right and there’s no better way to create an awesome environment that to get great people together.

This is one of the reasons high school and college students can take trips abroad and have a fantastic time if they like the people they’re with. It’s why Rick felt so at home during his trip to Spain and why Noah and I have developed a love for Austin.  It’s people.

So over the next few months we want to celebrate and recognize the importance of great people in communities. We’re going to be taking a closer look at what makes individuals importance in the scope of communities and how people are the ones who breathe life into our world.  Stay tuned!!

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Austin Music Culture

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The Austin community is the strangest, most diverse, and most identifiably unique community I’ve ever seen by far. It contains contradictions – the monolithic institutions of the University of Texas and of the Texas government, which date back centuries contrasted with the constant influx of youth and innovation in the city. It contains a sense of tight-knit togetherness – shopping local, eating local,and being local are so important in Austin. It contains so many different types of communities that form synergy and work together  from coffee shops to concert halls, from football fields to food trucks. Austin’s iconic figures are similarly idiosyncratic – how many cities can boast residents as unique and different as Stone Cold Steve Austin, Willie Nelson, Chantal Jones, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Karl Rove, Dan Rather, and Drew Brees?

But by far, Austin’s identifying feature is the music. It is the Live Music Capital of the World, after all, home to one of the largest music festivals in the country. Austin City Limits (both the television show and the festival it spawned) have been integral parts of Austin for decades, bringing Texas musicians and artists to the world, and bringing worldwide artists to Texas. Each has their own prestige – the TV show is the only television show to have ever won the National Medal of Arts, and the festival is home to more than 70,000 fans nightly over the course of two weekends in autumn, making it for a brief moment its own community.

Austin is also home to one of the largest film festivals in the country, called SXSW or South by Southwest (which, of course, also doubles as a music festival), and a new emerging festival called Fun Fun Fun Fest. Austin’s 6th Street is legendary throughout Texas (especially the college-agers!) as an amazing place for fun, drinking, and dancing, and has treated many an Austinite to the triumphs of trials of a twenty-first birthday. The street is lined with shops, bars, concert halls, clubs, and enough entertainment to make your head spin. I can attest personally to the variety I’ve seen there – in the last few years alone I’ve seen bluegrass, heavy metal, classical, hip-hop, folk, jazz, and indie rock shows all up and down the street.

It’s not just music, art, and dancing, though – just this month, Austin’s brand new F1 track opened for its inaugural race, bringing over a hundred thousand racing fans worldwide to experience the city. This is also nothing to say of the 100,000-plus-size capacity of Darrel K. Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, the iconic football field which fills with the roaring chants of fans every fall Saturday. Each of these major events has left its own indelible stamp on Austin, and exposed our community to newcomers from near and far, showing just how unique our growing community is.

With all the attention Austin has attracted over the last several years, it’s no wonder that it has become a hot destination for young and old people alike, from nations all over the world and cities all over Texas. It’s no wonder that Austin has become OurPangea’s home, for us to explore the possibilities of community, and it’s no wonder that we have learned so much from our experience in this wonderful city.

We The Lonely People: Our History Exploration

“For most of history, man found his sense of community where he lived, with the people among whom he was born and with whom he died. For some that remains true today. But most of us in city and suburb live in one place, and find ‘community’ in another.”
-Ralph Keyes

Ralph Keyes, pop-culture author and community-proponent, speculated that modern marvels which have consistently pushed us forward as a technological society have simultaneously deteriorated our ability to form a sense of community.

Keyes wrote We The Lonely People, the article that the above excerpt comes from, in the 1970s and the technology he was specifically referring to were the household conveniences that diminished the habit of families gathering together as a household ‘community,’ but his perspectives are no less accurate or out of place in looking at modern advancements like the Internet and social media today.  In the short history of these broad technologies, we’ve been given the ability to instantly ‘connect,’ been granted tools to play words with friends across the nation, and now have the power to pinpoint our exact location anywhere in the world in mere seconds.

Over the past two months, right here on our blog we’ve been exploring how our communities have evolved, been shaped, and improved as they’ve grown throughout history. We wanted to look at various events, people, and trends from history to elucidate the power and importance of being able to understand our history. Even more so, we hoped to imagine the possibilities of a world where we’re able to harness the power of our collective past and use that focus to encourage our communities to become stronger and stronger as we move forward into the future.

Want another look?  Here’s a full list of all of our history themed posts!

The Importance of History
Common Unity
Remembering History and Using OurPangea to Address Global Trends
Ubuntu: I Am Who I Am Because of Who We All Are
A Conversation Over A Gyro
Making the World Spicy…Literally
Museums, Exhibits, And Galleries
The Rise of Cities
The World Goes Further Than What We See
How OurPangea Is Sharing and Creating History
The Big Support Networks of Education In Small Communities
What We All Share: A Sense of Community
OurPangea for Education
How Education Changes The World
How OurPangea Will Change The World

What topics do you want us to explore??

What We All Share: Our Sense Of Community

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Communities can consist of many things, and take many forms, but the only thing that is absolutely necessary for a community to form is people. Communities based around choices, decisions, beliefs, actions, hobbies, likes, dislikes – these all boil down to the most common of denominators: people. Whether they are tight-knit as a family unit, or a community based in geographic proximity, or a community spread across the entire world: a community can only be what its people are, and can only do what its people can, while the people use the community around them to strengthen themselves and each other. It is a cycle of growth and health that strengthens everyone involved and ultimately brings progress to the forefront of the future.

This is why OurPangea is focused on creating a new type of platform for communities. We believe that people should be able to share their communities better than the way they can as of right now. We believe that people should be able to share their hopes, their dreams, their passions, all the things every person holds dear. We believe there can always be a better way to introduce friends to one another, to introduce places and hobbies and events and actions to others. We believe this because we know everyone on this Earth can join in this belief with us, creating our Pangea community. Math or music may be universal languages but hopes and dreams are universal traits that have allowed the human race to become what we are today, and what we will be in the future. No matter what particular hope or dream or passion it may be, we all share in the experience of knowing what it is to build our hopes, to follow our passions, and to make our dreams come true.

OurPangea’s dream is the same. We believe we can better connect communities because of people like you joining with us in these dreams, and form communities where people join each other for their own dreams. Our dream is to connect all of these communities to help the people grow, and then in turn the communities will strengthen. We have hope for these communities and how they will impact the future. We have faith that the world can and will come together to create these communities. And we trust people, ordinary like you or I, to make that step and follow their dreams to create the world a better place within their own communities and for the community we all share in as human beings.

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