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What are the actual facts? What really happened in the past? The famous duet, “I Remember It Well”, sung by Maurice Chevalier and Hermione Gingold in the movie, Gigi is a perfect example of how subjective memory can be. In that song, an elderly couple reminisce about the details of the night they met. In essence, they cannot agree on anything – the color of the gown she wore, whether the moon was shining or not, what day of the week it was, etc. The last lines of the song, the “take-away”, is that the feeling of falling in love, of still being in love, is the dominant emotion. All the rest, in the bigger picture, is relatively inconsequential.
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Imagine four different scenarios in which you are asked, “Tell me about yourself”. First is a job interview; the second, striking up a conversation with someone you will sit next to for a six-hour plane ride; the third, a first date; and the fourth, meeting a long-lost recently rediscovered cousin. How do we pick which personal narrative to “feature”? Is there a commonality – a “go-to” theme which occurs in all of them, or are they radically different?
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The concept of gathering in a circle for community has been around for ever. Tribal cultures would sit around the counsel fire, large families around the banquet table, corporate honchos around the board table. Alright, sometimes the circle becomes a square or a rectangle. But still, it’s that same idea. Circles are particularly potent, because not only is everyone facing everyone else, but no one is sitting at the head of the table! Everyone in a circle is equal – equidistant from the center.
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