The Being of a Nation
"How do you want to BE in this world?"
Interviews from 48 states
In 2017 Kïrsten Blake of Chapter BE, along with her dog, Harriet Ethel, the brave and beloved BE mascot, traveled to all 48 continental United States and asked 380 strangers: “How do you want to BE in this world?”
Kïrsten and Harriet drove a total of 15,887 miles over the course of 90 days, July 15 through October 16, and stayed with family, friends, and friends-of-friends along the way. Beginning the trip in Santa Fe, NM and ending in Denver, CO, Chapter BE’s approach was simple – scope the city and crowdsource the best places to set up. Then, throw open the back doors of Beatrice, the BE Mobile, and invite strangers in to talk.
The Being of a Nation collected stories of courage, curiosity, empathy, love, positivity, and so much more. Stories are how people connect with one another, with their environment, and with themselves. Chapter BE wants to share these stories of BEing from across the nation with the aim to inspire individuals to share their story as well as connect to someone else’s BE story.
Below you will find stories of BEing from different individuals across our country. As you listen to these stories, note that these are raw, on-the-street interviews that capture the storyteller’s environment – general background noise, animals, cars, others passing by. Close your eyes and picture their environment as you listen in…
Listen to their stories
“Just keeping in mind that everyone is going through their own journey and that you need to be respectful of the journey they are going through. You never really know what a person has gone through or is going through, and you just need to keep that in mind with whomever you are speaking to.”
“I moved back here from New Orleans a few months ago and am trying to find that balance between what I need to give myself and what I have to give to the rest of the world because I have to be able to sustain myself in order to continue to be compassionate, to be giving, and to be unselfish.”
“I think it's easy when they are over there, and you are over here to not understand them. But when you sit down to coffee again, and again, and again with somebody who has really opposing views, after a while - even if you don't support it, even if you don't come to that side - you come to understand how they can feel the way they feel.”
“Every day I have to appreciate what I have. My struggles, my daily situations, how politics goes now, and just how life is. Life is not perfect, like I said. I try to get up with a fresh state of mind. I try to think positive. I don't let anybody get into my space of having a very good day. I create my own day; I create my own happiness.”
Explore all of the interviews
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