Obsessed with flash mobs. Tis me. For years the yearning to be a part of a flash mob has been stuck at number three on my bucket list. Every so often, I do a little Google search, watch some Youtube videos and get re-inspired and then survey my tribe, “Who’s with me?”
I get nothing.
Why doesn’t anyone want to join me on this adventure? I don’t want to experience it alone.
Maybe I need to do a better job selling it. Perhaps you think my fixation is related to a childhood dream of becoming a Solid Gold Dancer. Wait. What? You know, the Solid Gold show from the 80’s. The show where they counted down the weeks top 10 songs with the assistance of the Solid Gold Dancers! Is Netflix not aware of this? For those of you who know what I am talking about it is worth the trip down memory lane. The rest of you might also find it rousing. Treat yourself here.
For the record, my years of dancing school, my commitment to the Solid Gold show combined with a personally impressive view of my dancing ability actually led me to believe solid gold dancing was a viable option upon high school graduation. Tough love from my parents left me walking a different path. (Shout out to Ron and Marie for saving me from myself. See photo above.)
How did I get all chatty about Solid Gold Dancers? Oh right, flash mobs. Why do I want to be part of a flash mob?
Connection. That simple. For me, it is about connection.
It fascinates me that a group of random strangers can come together, organize themselves and work their asses off toward a vision. “A vision of what?”, you ask. A vision to spread joy. To connect. To be part of something bigger than themselves.
Think about this for just one hot minute.
Many of the flash mobs are held at places of transportation. Yes, from a project management perspective this does make sense. The venues have all the elements required — space, a PA system, time. But they are also places that radiate loneliness.
Do you know that loneliness is epidemic in our country? According to the Good Science Center, part of UC Berkeley, social scientists have documented three alarming trends of American Society over a 30-year study. Trend one, people have become more lonely. (Trends two and three we can chat about later but for those inquisitive minds: #2 rise in narcissism, #3 rise in inequality.) The data reveals that we have one third fewer close friends than we did a century ago and a quarter of people surveyed reported they had no close friends at all. I won’t even get into the costs of loneliness. Suffice it to say it affects us biologically, it affects our neurophysiological profile and it affects us culturally.
I read this quote a few years ago. I saved it. It bubbles up to my vision as I walk through public places. Warning, it is disturbingly true.
“Around him, a spin of bodies in dark coats, tapping thumbs on pads, pressing phones to heads, settling buds into ear canals, projecting an invisible shield of music as they move through the crowd, digital companionship warmer than the bodies around them. Every soul on the street is sunk within its body. “
Lauren Groff, from the book Arcadia.
Nooooooooooooo! We can do better than this. We must. One flash mob at a time. And believe me, I know it is not all smiles and jazz hands but we have to start somewhere.
Spread some mad love.
I invite you to view this flash mob at Heathrow airport. As you watch play close attention to the people that are not part of the flash mob.
Did you witness the joy? The unexpected joy. Think of yourself as a travelling road warrior. You have been away from your family for weeks. Bouncing from city to city. Seeking “digital companionship”. Then BAM! A flash mob.
So. The next time I ask you, “I want to flash mob, who is with me?” Take a moment. If the act sends vulnerability handcuffs around your wrists tell me. “Not my thing.” I understand. But please, follow it up by sharing with me how you flash mob the sharing of mad love in your own way.
Spread mad love. We must.
One last thought. I love the Black Eyed Peas. I love Oprah. This combination led me to believe I must be onto something here. Oprah flash mob.
“Every human being is a puzzle of need.”
Spread some mad love.