Monday, April 26, 2010
Today I had the opportunity to be a 'book' for the Human Library . A Human Library is, "a mobile library set up as a space for dialogue and interaction. Visitors to the Human Library are given the opportunity to speak informally with “people on loan”; this latter group being extremely varied in age, sex and cultural background" [see Human Library.org].
On this occasion, I was talking about my journey from long term illness back to paid employment; and from the 'white knuckle ride' I experienced initially, returning to work with a memory impairment, to my present circumstances, where I feel much more comfortable, both, in my job and in my skin.
I was 'loaned' three times and had conversations with folk who otherwise would have remained perfect strangers. My 'Readers' couldn't have known this, but prior to the session I was experiencing one of my periodic 'lows'; a 'condition' which sometimes creeps up on me, riddling me with self-doubt.
However, I can tell you, this experience was transformative for me. Only three conversation later and I was flourishing. In the language of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, I was using three of the 5 wellbeing 'ways' - namely, give, keep learning and connect.
The Human Library isn't only a wonderfully 'organic' way to challenge prejudice and stereotypes, it is also a very powerful wellbeing 'tool' - powerful, in a good way, for everyone who takes part (and I speak advisedly, having been a borrower in previous events). There is a lot of power in creating a conversation; in making contact and communicating your story, and sharing time with others.
If you are interested in being involved in a Human Library event, contact
Oz Osbourne or Nick Little.