“It’s all about your story connecting with another person and both of you changing.”
New York City, October 21, 2012
“The most powerful spiritual stories are in the lives of the ordinary people we meet.”
10 Founding Principles, 2007—to Today
We’re ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm and Publisher John Hile and we just locked ourselves away for two days in a theater on the edge of Manhattan’s Flatiron District with world famous new-media marketing guru Seth Godin—and 80 other new-media developers from around the world. In our quest to keep evolving to serve you better, that intensive retreat further changed us. And, that’s a good thing! Here’s why …
As longtime readers know, we’ve been changing for five years. Keeping up with you is our whole purpose in publishing this free online magazine (this page you’re reading right now is part of the magazine) as well as our array of ReadTheSpirit Books. We bring news, inspiration and fresh connection with the world into your busy, often-stressful life. Our world has to change with your world—to bring you the latest news about great books and films and milestones in spirituality, religion and cultural diversity. Your daily life is different than it was when we first began serving readers in 2007. We need to keep changing with you.
The Big Questions
What hasn’t changed are the timeless spiritual questions we all ask each day: Why should I climb out of bed every morning? In other words—why are we here? How can I make it through another stressful day? Or, we might ask—how should we live as good people? At the end of the day, did I accomplish anything that mattered? And—is there a larger Good in our universe that cuts across the boundaries that divide us? People have been asking these questions for thousands of years.
Answers You Can Use
Every day, week after week, we help you to answer those questions by bringing you the latest in-depth author interviews (like this one with Jacob Needleman), stories about the holidays and festivals people are celebrating around the world, thoughtful columns about OurValues, wisdom and humor from the Spiritual Wanderer. If you follow ReadTheSpirit regularly, then you’re the first one among your family, your friends, your congregation and your community to know that Marcus Borg has a brand new book (come back October 29 to read that news)—or that a terrific new children’s book might light up your life. You’re the first to know about a provocative Holocaust film unlike any earlier movie on this compelling theme. You’re the first to know why Tarzan’s centennial tells us a whole lot about our changing attitudes—or why children’s books can make a difference in adult lives.
Changing and Growing to Connect with Your Day
Before we boarded our plane for New York City from our home office in the Midwest, we already were changing and expanding this autumn. For the first time in five years, ReadTheSpirit Books were represented at the world’s largest book fair in Frankfurt, Germany. And we had just launched our first thematic portal within the larger ReadTheSpirit magazine—the WeAreCaregivers.com website hosted by columnist Heather Jose. By the end of November, our entire magazine (including this page you’re reading right now) will move over to these clearer, cleaner, easier-to-navigate designs you see in the new Caregivers website.
And … Slowing Down So That We Can …
In our two-day retreat, Seth kept slowing us down. “The first thing you have to do is connect,” he said. “Really connect. Authentically connect.” He scoffed at sales people who try to polish high-pressure “elevator pitches” and make some kind of fast connection through rapid-fire evangelism. In a brief note Seth posted online as our retreat broke up, he called the typical elevator pitch a “polished turd of prose.”
True connection involves linking lives on the personal level of real-life stories that make us truly care about people and what they are doing or saying to us. That requires keeping in touch. As Seth put it: “More conversations and fewer announcements.”
Light bulbs flashed for both me, Editor David Crumm, and our publisher as well. In fact, these are among our own core principles, which we’ve been following since we founded ReadTheSpirit in August 2007.
SO, LET’S SLOOOW DOWN for a just a moment and let me say, once again:
Hello, I’m ReadTheSpirit Editor David Crumm writing to you today. I know we’ll discover more inspiring connections—if we just keep in touch. The easiest way for you to do that is: Sign up for our newsletters. If you click that link and sign up, you’ll find that you can choose from three different free newsletters:
- The main ReadTheSpirit Planner newsletter tells you, once a week, about our wide range of new stories and our latest invitations to readers just like you to interact with us.
- The OurValues newsletter focuses on news from Dr. Wayne Baker’s OurValues column.
- The new WeAreCaregivers newsletter tells you about Heather Jose’s latest column, plus other news of interest to America’s 65 million caregivers.
WANT TO TELL US YOUR STORY? We frequently offer fresh invitations to you, as our readers, to tell us your stories and share your ideas. Right now …
- What children’s book changed your life? We are inviting readers to tell us about a children’s book that shaped who you are today. Read our first story in this series. You’ll enjoy the picture book that writer Mitch Horowitz describes.
- Have you seen a Godsign lately? Suzy Farbman’s popular new book Godsigns tells how Suzy attuned herself to see signs that God was looking out for her, even in the midst of terrible times. We are inviting readers to upload and share snapshots that give them hope. Take a look at other Godsign photos and upload your own Godsign snapshot.
- Got a song, a poem or a joke that might lift someone’s spirits? Dr. Benjamin Pratt invites readers to share any of those—and more. Check out our page for Sharing Caregiver Ideas.
And, as of today, that’s our story so far …
Please, add the next chapter?
Originally published at www.ReadTheSpirit.com, an online magazine covering religion and cultural diversity.