Do you sometimes find yourself wondering what makes people function the way they do? Why, for instance, we're compelled to pay more attention to people we barely know than our close friends when we host a party? Or how we decide upon a "professional persona" for work that is appropriate for the culture but still feels somewhat authentic to who we are?
Digging into issues like these can be wonderfully complex, as they involve individual preferences (both inborn and learned), social norms, and collective cultural considerations -- and quite a lot of each. They also beg for reflection on our own lives and beliefs, helping us to shape our worldview.
If you're like me, you love talking about things like this. Maybe moreso than most of your friends and family. And you don't have as many opportunities as you'd like to converse like this since you're past college age (not like you were 100% focused on learning in college anyway) and most people don't tend to dig that deep.
This group is about exactly that. Each meeting, we'll grab a coffee or drink of your choice and explore a few pre-selected topics of conversation, sharing our opinions and experiences, and generally enjoying a rich level of discussion. The questions will be conceptual but also personal, helping us to get to know each other. And hopefully over time the group will build a sense of community.
No particular educational background or knowledge is needed to be a part of this group. You just need to arrive with curiosity and convictions. However, there are a few ground rules:
. Be interested in sociological, psychological, and cultural issues. . Be a good listener and give others opportunities to speak. . Respect other people's perspectives and try not to take them too personally. . No political arguments or griping about the sad state of the world. This group is optimistic in nature, at the very least because it's an optimistic act to gather and engage in thoughtful discussion.