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
“Our issues with being mindful, being present, came long before technology, right? People find other ways to escape all the time. What are you trying to run from? That's part of the work, but part of the work is doing things you enjoy, doing things that bring you fulfillment...”
Bismarck, North Dakota
“I'm 67 years old and so much of my lifetime has passed. I've realized that a lot of things happened, and I wasn't really in the moment. I wasn't there. If I had been, I would have done things differently. I don't know how many years I have left of my life, so I want to be present and be more in control of how the rest plays out.”
San Francisco, California
“I feel like when we were younger, maybe up to the age of 5-6, we are present and in the moment. But as we get a little older the ego builds, and we start comparing ourselves and judging and labeling. So, we get into our minds too much.”
“I feel very present when I am engaging with someone else, and I'm not speaking. You're making eye contact, and you feel like you have body-to-body connection. Being present looks like 'I don't know what I'm saying next' because I'm not thinking of a response to whatever you are going through.”
Explore all of the interviews
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