Crowd Sourcing Solutions

26 Aug

Last week, I took a sneaky trip into Melbourne city to pick up my shiny new spectacles.

Via tram.  During peak hour.

Lovers, I’m not sure if you’ve ever had the pleasure of traveling via tram (or similar public transportation vehicles) during the A.M. peak hour, but it’s quite the experience.

The thing was so ridiculously packed with humans that one woman felt obliged to position her self face to the wall, spider-man style – negating any chance of touching, or being touched by someone else.  Nor was she obliged to make any eye contact with anyone as they wriggled past the hoard to alight the carriage.  Nope, not a chance.  Despite there being more than enough room as folks jumped off at their various stops, she stayed planted to the wall her entire journey.

As I looked around and noticed that although taking a rather drastic measure to avoid the other folks making the journey into the city, the mass of commuters surrounding me weren’t much different – looking every which way but at their fellow humans.  I couldn’t help but giggle quietly to myself.  Because my goodness we are strange creatures!  I admit that I’ve been known to do the exact same thing, enveloped in my own world… ear holes plugged with music, eyes glued to a book or out the window – but just this one time I couldn’t help but consider how absurd the situation was.

I started to ponder why this lot of people in particular (starting with spider-woman) were so committed to avoiding each other.  I surmised was that we were all toying with our own dilemmas, to-do lists and desires.  Very, very quietly.  To ourselves.

It then occurred to me that if we weren’t so very, very quiet, and instead had the gumption to publicly declare that we had ‘Issue X’… between us, we could have probably networked our way to creating, suggesting, referring, planning or exchanging solutions for a bulk of the problems contained in that transportation tin can.

Because many hands make light work.  Because everyone has hidden knowledge.  Because we all know a human who has faced the universal problems other humans face.  Because supportive ideating communities are welcoming of new knowledge.  Because solutions happen when you ask for them. Not if, when.

I’ve seen it happen more easily on the interwebs in the anonymous forum format, and people Google an assortment of (sometimes very strange) things all day long searching for a solution.  But in ‘real life’ outwardly accepting help is sometimes wildly terrifying.  It’s different to verbally acknowledge we’re facing a challenge that has us stumped, and that we’re not super heroes.   Of course it’s wise to propose more critical or sensitive dilemmas to professionals trained in the respective areas troubling you, but damn lovers – can you even imagine the possibility of problem solving in any given crowd?

At the cafe.
In line at the bank.
Standing at traffic lights.
The mass of people at a festival.
Perusing aisles of the supermarket.

The non-critical dilemma I was deliberating over was my growing rather bored of lovingly preparing nutritious home cooked for myself.  I can do it, I am just not overly enthused about the whole deal.  I’d rather do other things with my energy.  But eating out every flipping day is just as much of a pain, and doesn’t have the same feel to it.  I was thinking, there had to be someone on that tram who loves cooking so much that they’d do the groceries required to lovingly prepare home cooked meals for me and deliver them to me each week (for cash money of course). Surely! And surely there was something I could do to serve at least one person there, to make their life easier – if only for that day.  

And the blonde girl with the rad t-shirt could probably have referred the guy in the purple tie to a good florist.  He could have then suggested spider-woman look-up his cousin’s vintage hat box restoration business.  She would have then been able to tell the girl in the red lace up shoes of an article she read last week about storage solutions.  Red-shoe girl would have let slip she owned a gift shop that specialised in ceramic pineapples and all of serious business guy’s staff would have had one sitting on their desk post christmas party.  His wife very likely would have been famous for her monster vege lasagne and I would have had lunch sorted for the week.

Solutions within reach. We could exhale. Our energy would be redirected and Jubilation would abound.  All because we stepped out and served the human with acts of love.

Job well done.

What would happen if we’d stop engrossing ourselves in contact evasion?  Might we have the opportunity to connect with other people, and run a handful of mini-pow-wows en route to our daily destinations?  What would it take to break the silence and a status quo of don’t-talk-to-the-strangers-I’m-the-only-one-who-is-normal-and-understands behaviour?  Could we trust a stranger with our challenges?

I wonder, would a simple, but genuine offer/request of service to a complete stranger do the trick?  I suppose there is only one way to find out…

Yours in Nonsense,
Casey xo

P.S. Have a fabulous week, connect with your fellow humans and please do share if you enjoyed this!

2 Responses to “Crowd Sourcing Solutions”

  1. The Emptying Nester August 27, 2012 at 3:39 AM #

    It’s a shame that we live our lives terrified of showing vulnerability or weakness.

    • Casey August 29, 2012 at 11:17 AM #

      It’s surely fascinating, but what a remarkable opportunity it places before us all! Wouldn’t you agree?

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