One of the most important missions of our Civil War Ball events is to bring people together and build community.
In 1985, when researchers asked a cross section of Americans how many confidants they had, the most common response was three. When they asked again in 2004, the most common answer (from a full 25% of the responders) was zero. In 1950, only 9.3% of American household consisted of people living alone. In 2000, the numbers jumped to 26% of all household are now people living alone.
We lived in LA when our children were small, and I used to take the van to the corner car wash. This was in the days before cell phones, and so most of the people who were waiting for their cars would strike up a friendly conversation with the stranger setting next to them. I’ve always loved to hear people’s stories, and so I looked forward to meeting someone new and getting to know a little bit about them. It’s been years since I’ve been to a car wash now that I have a strapping teenage son who washes our cars, but I’ve noticed something interesting when I drive by the local car wash. Every person waiting for their car seems to be sitting in an isolated chair by themself talking on their cell phone. They are missing out on hearing new stories.
Because our dance events are for families, we usually don’t have people attending who are living alone. But in many cases, our children at home are often isolated too. Many spend more time with their cell phones, computers, and game consoles than they do talking with adults. They have emails and text-messaging that fill the down times in their day that might have been better spent in a person to person conversation. People create and tell stories when they come together.
We want to bring people together and give them a worthwhile activity to share. They can talk. They can laugh. They can create something intricate, graceful and beautiful. They can create a new chapter in the story of life – together!