I have a firm belief that the truest purpose of life is to connect–to the world, to the moment, to each other. But in this increasingly transactional age, connecting has been conveniently packaged into the form of an e-mail, a business card, even a handshake…or so they want us to think.
Connection isn’t just about eye contact (Hey! Look into my eyes when you shake my hand for these 2 seconds of your life), it’s also about vulnerability, and most importantly it’s about exploring new territory. Unfortunately, and as much as I love to champion the good in this town (ref: every other blog post on here), Miami is not a city brimming with people who just genuinely want to connect. There’s always a “what can you do for me?” or “why do you know that can help?” and even “I don’t know that person, sorry not interested.” There’s rarely a moment of pure curiosity that sparks long-lasting relationships without value propositions on either end.
The truth is, and I hope you understand that I’m speaking in generalizations here, that people in Miami are just not down to talk to someone they don’t know, or explore circles in which they don’t already run. There’s a reason Miami is called a “Bandwagon Town.” A City where people are happy to support once all the hard work has already been done but recoil at the very thought that forging the path means having to get your hands dirty. Oh there’s work involved here? I think I’ll have to not answer your texts and pass.
All of this to say that the other side of the spectrum is bursting with energy; enough to make up for the masses that seem perfectly happy with where we’ve always been. For whatever reason and in spite of the aforementioned flaws, there’s a group of happy transplants and proud locals who are putting in some long hours for our city, ensuring a positive future every single day. Enter: Conncect Miami, a massive group of Miami-Dade locals challenging our city to break out of its comfort zones and build real relationships across lines of difference.
Instead of just throwing that inspirational manifesto out there without any effort to actually follow-through, Connect Miami is asking everyone to break out of their relative molds and step into worlds of which they might not know much of. From May 22nd – 31st, they’re challenging everyone in Miami-Dade to connect with people who are not like them, in whatever way they are ready. Tune into a Facebook Live about the transgender community, connect with the arts and artists at Viernes Culturales, chat cultivation at the CIC and so much more that will definitely leave you more open than whence you came.
What’s Prism doing? Well we’re shaking off the taboo that neighborhoods don’t grow together and gathering a handful of Miami’s notable developers together for a private round table discussion about how these decision-makers can move forward with the community, and their parallel projects, in mind. Participate by hosting a connection experience, attending one, or simply taking part in the 10 Days of Connection Challenge. It doesn’t have to feel forced, after all, that’s not real connection. But it does have to be from a place of sheer hope for change, from a necessity to evolve, from the heart.