The Purpose of The Experience Gallery

April 14, 2009

in-the-rain1

“It just happened one day, just thought about it one moment and decided to do it”

That is what I tell people I am interviewing for The Experience Gallery when they ask me why I started the interviews.

That is exactly how it started. I was going through a so called “transitional phase” in life and was evaluating various aspects of  it when I realized that I associated mostly with the same circle and group of friends. I didn’t really expand out and try to meet new people.

Why is that? Why not? After all a stranger is only a stranger until you get to know them.  I started thinking about how I take meetings with so many people for granted. The person I pass by on the street corner, the glance I exchange with someone through a store front window, the older gentleman I share the milk with at the coffeehouse. What separates us? Just a hello? An introduction? I started thinking about their stories, their lives, and everything I could learn from these people if I just took the intiative and talked to them.

That’s all there was to it. The Experience Gallery became a place where I talked to 8 people every month from all areas of society, across the social spectrum, from all backgrounds. The goal is just to learn something from them, have conversations with them, and meet someone I knew nothing about.

If the reader can learn something from these conversations that would be great, or just even be encouraged to say hello to that stranger you walk down the hallway with on your way to the elevator.

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