Advocating for a Well-Read Public
Inspired by The Helping Friendly Book Club’s Quest to discover the lost Secrets to Eternal Joy and Never Ending Splendor we formed ‘The Helping Friendly Foundation’, our nonpartisan nonprofit 501c3 organization on a mission to help elevate the public conversation and connect people through books in convivial ways. We’re advocating for a well-read public because a well-informed populace is the cornerstone of a functioning democracy. We’re building a ‘Coalition of the Curious’ to help ‘Pass The Knowledge’, and we could really use your help.
Just as Dallas is working to rebuild a crumbling system of outdated roadways and gas lines, and address the food desert by adding gardens and grocery stores, so are we addressing the city’s literacy infrastructure and cultural systems. By connecting words, people, books and cultural experiences in never-before-seen ways and unexpected places, we can help seed and instill strong and exciting experiences of meaning. In an era of rapidly expanding digital technology, the tactile, personal world remains.
Ironically, in the age of the “smartphone”, the threat of Idiocracy is becoming very real. We want to stem that tide by helping change the way people feel about reading. Values determine behavior, so if we want people to read more, we need to help them see the value in doing so. We need to get creative and find ways to make reading more attractive, accessible, and communal. We need to make reading cool again.
As with any great endeavor, the first step is to lay a foundation. Phase I of The Helping Friendly Plan is to build a network of interconnected free public book exchanges around Dallas that Illuminate Curiosity for the Purpose of Forward Motion.
Literacy is a pathway to Knowledge, but without Curiosity, the willingness to learn anything is nonexistent. Curiosity is a prerequisite to Insight, and every time a person has an Insight, they make a discovery, and one discovery leads to the next, thus creating forward motion. Without curiosity, nothing can make an impression long enough to generate an Insight. When you’re curious, you’re receptive, so the first thing we need to do is get people curious. All meaningful growth begins with first believing in possibilities beyond what is.
Board of Directors
Cole Suttle - President
Omar A. Behalim - Grant Management and Fundraising
Kimberley Smith - Communication and Outreach
Alex Gillan - Director of Operations
Vanessa Fry - Secretary
Brian Adams - Treasurer
The Helping friendly Compass Rose
These four Helping Friendly Cardinal Values function as the Helping Friendly Foundation’s Compass Rose. We use them to align every decision we make, and this is how we steer the Ship of SEJNES.
How does each component of the Helping Friendly Ecosystem align with these values?
Helping Friendly Book Club
Does Helping Friendly Book Club Illuminate Curiosity for the Purpose of Forward Motion?
We cherish and honor our curiosity in the Helping Friendly Book Club. Curiosity is our guiding light. We follow it intuitively every time we decide where to look for the Secrets to Eternal Joy and Never Ending Splendor next. When we say “follow your pinecone” what we really mean is follow your intuition, follow what makes you curious. You need to learn to trust your own holy curiosity, honor it, and then follow it to discover the SEJNES. Use your curiosity like a flashlight and explore the world around you. Without curiosity nothing is going to make an impression on you long enough to generate an insight. We are learning to try not to be just a passive recipient of the information being beamed into our minds through the TV. Instead, we learn to actively go searching for what brings us joy, what makes us happy, what makes us curious. Apply yourself in the living of your life for purpose of discovering the secrets to eternal joy and never ending splendor. Is there anyone in their right mind who would ever say discovering the secrets to eternal joy doesn’t sound appealing to them? Like bugs to the light, life is drawn towards a desire for happiness, one way or another.
Does Helping Friendly Book Club Create Space and Stimulation for the Generation of Insights?
Everytime we have a Helping Friendly Book Club meeting we create space for new insights to bubble up into our conscious minds and we stimulate it with our imagination like an electromagnetic field. Book Club is the physical space we create, and the books we read are the simulations, the content of consciousness. This is Atman/Brahman if you really get into it. The Helping Friendly Book Club is the heart and soul of our first conscious, connected community, and has given birth to many of the insights continue to guide our Quest today.
Does Helping Friendly Book Club Support Conscious Connected Community Building?
The HFBC supports conscious connected community building by creating a valuable shared experience in a nonthreatening setting where people can meet with each other and form the bond of having shared the unique, one of a kind experience that was the discussion at book club about the secrets to eternal joy and never ending splendor on that particular night. Egregore is formed right then and there. Not only are people sharing an experience, they are sharing the experience of experiencing meaning. This is something that seems to be disappearing from society at society's own peril, and we want to create more opportunities to welcome it back.
Does Helping Friendly Book Club Cultivate Social Vitality through Literacy, Art and Conversation?
HFBC elevates social vitality because it sparks elevated conversations. It gets people thinking about things that have underlying value to them. By each of us taking responsibility for raising our own level of consciousness, we collectively raise the entire ocean of consciousness. This is how you be the change you want to see in the world.
Helping Friendly Book Stands
Do the Helping Friendly Book Stands Illuminate Curiosity for the Purpose of Forward Motion?
The HFBS’s illuminate curiosity in so many ways. From commission to installation to stewardship, the HFBS’s are Curiosity Illuminating Machines, and also Curiosity Illuminating Processes.
Even just trying to explain what a HFBS is to someone is itself a stimulating and creative experience. Finding artists that are interested, and illuminating their curiosity about the project, is all part of it. Because the HFBS is an idea that can be manifested in so many ways, to imagine it is to create it on some level, to be a part of it. Urban Art is great because people remember unexpected things in unexpected places. To combine the memorable oddness of public sculptures with a free public book exchange and the Secrets to Eternal Joy, and it’s bound to illuminate curiosity.
Do the Helping Friendly Book Stands Create Space and Stimulation for the Generation of Insights?
The sculpture itself is an attractant. It is the rose that feeds the bees. By grabbing people’s attention from a distance first, people will already be curious by the time they “reach the book” so they will be in an ideal state of mind to receive it. Curiosity opens us up to receive new information, to be influenced. Curiosity is a gift from our highest self. The HFBS’s are beacons of curiosity and each interaction with them is intended to illuminate that curiosity and nudge people towards the Quest. This is literally the definition of what we are trying to do. Placemaking is creating these unique spaces for unique experiences that make reading cool again. The HFBS’s not only create physical space, they also stimulate it through the art work and mystique of the sculpture, as well as the books themselves.
Do Helping Friendly Book Stands support Conscious Connected Community building?
In the process of creating the HFBP’s community is formed. Tapping into all the greatness of the Placemaking philosophy which has to do with using the resources of the community and bringing them together to create something greater than the sum of all its parts. This is shared experience at its finest. The result is a living, growing, evolving place. When you have the special shared experience of creating something together with your community, the whole community becomes more conscious and connected. On top of that you are now creating ways for individuals in a community to have the shared experience of reading the same books. That also supports Conscious, Connected, Community building.
Do Helping Friendly Book Stands Elevate Social Vitality through Literacy, Art and Conversation?
Yes! These promote literacy for everyone and they encourage great conversations. Great conversations are what generate great societies. Literacy as a rule is good for society because the more well read the populace the smarter the dialogue required by the leaders must be.
We are trying to change people’s behavior patterns so that they read more and then discuss what they read with each other. In order to influence behavior the first thing we need to do is get noticed, is be remembered. Art, especially Public Art, is a great way to make an impression on someone, and then once we have their attention we share our Mission with them and get them engaged.
Does SEJ Talks Illuminate Curiosity for the Purpose of Forward Motion?
The purpose of a SEJ Talk is to spark the inner curiosity of the listener enough for them to see the value in pursuing a Quest for the Secrets to Eternal Joy and Never Ending Splendor on their own. One of the nicest things anyone can do for anyone else is to illuminate their curiosity enough to begin this quest. The desire to discover wisdom and knowledge must come from inside the individual. The individual must see value in it.
Does SEJ Talks Create Space and Stimulation for the Generation of Insights?
SEJ Talks is an environment specifically designed for this purpose. Insights most often come when we are involved in some sort of a dialogue, a back and forth of ideas, when all of a sudden we have a flash of insight. SEJ Talks is designed so that there is a space to have these back and forth exchanges, and the stimulation is the content of the SEJ Talks.
Does SEJ Talks support Conscious Connected Community Building?
The intention behind ‘SEJ Talks’ is to develop a platform for elevated social interaction and use that platform to create valuable shared experiences, which in turn create stronger, more meaningfully connected conscious communities. ‘SEJ Talks’ is an event where the Helping Friendly Community-at-Large can come together to exchange ideas and generate new insights, but with no required reading and an open bar, followed by a cosmic bizarre.
We recognize the universal truth that relationships and communities are formed through shared experiences, and valuable shared experiences create valuable relationships and communities. SEJ Talks is devoted and designed to create space and stimulation for those experiences to occur. When we have our minds blown together we form bonds that inspire conscious, connected communities to grow. The goal for each event is to create something together that is greater than the sum of all its parts, because those we create with we forge our strongest friendships.
Does SEJ Talks Cultivate Social Vitality through Literacy, Art and Conversation?
The quality of the experiences we share determines the quality of the connections we make. These days most of our shared experiences come from the television. SEJ Talks offers an enjoyable shared social experience that stimulates the mind and engages community. The Vision is to create a network of local literati, influencers, philosophers, readers, thinkers, enthusiasts, philanthropists, and artists who value interacting with their contemporaries in a convivial and stimulating atmosphere. We want “SEJ Talks” to help us build a ‘Coalition of the Curious’ and turn it into a force multiplier for Helping Friendly Initiatives, which by definition elevated social vitality through conversation.
The Helping Friendly Foundation is the natural next step in a process of evolution that has been unfolding in response to positive stimulus from the universe for almost 5 years now.
Donations go to building more Book Stands.