The Personal Public Event

It’s strange that a few days ago I began thinking about this point, the Personal Public Event. Strange that today it’s the 12th anniversary of 9-11.

Context first. Our church pastor, prior to arriving at our church, was a minister at a congregation near New Orleans. He refers often to Hurricane Katrina and the destruction to both the region and the lives of he, his family, and the congregation. I suspect that he doesn’t realize how often he invokes Katrina; he says it that much.

It started me thinking. As a massive public event, Katrina is known to almost everyone. Say the word “Katrina” and people automatically think of who they knew affected by the event, perhaps their own private story of the direct effect on them, or simply where they were when all of it happened. That’s a public event with immediate personal connections.

Our pastor doesn’t have to explain what Katrina was. Everyone in his audience knows. Or nearly everyone. They require only a nano-second to call up the memory and begin to replay their own story in it.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a Personal Public Event.

Take a second and just absorb this idea. As you do, you might see the layers and layers of additional meaning that unfold from the Personal Public Event.

What does it enable you to do from there? What can’t you do? What version is there of a similar event for the people you work with, one that is known just to them as a group? How long before it fades? How do you pass it on so that it doesn’t fade? And on and on.

The Personal Public Event. I like this thought. Expect to hear a little more from me about it.