Meet-Up – carry the torch

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Momentous disasters cause us to stop and reflect on what really matters.  What do we value, and what do we take for granted?  What (and who) do we never want to say good-bye to, and what is no longer significant to us?

While there is no way to define the events of September 11, 2001 as being anything but horrible, a small team of people made a real difference by using tragedy to bring people together, face-to-face, for the purpose of initiating the spirit of community and positively impacting lives. 

In the words of Scott Heiferman, co-founder of, the idea of meet-up groups was a way to “use the internet to get off the internet — and grow local communities.”  Mr. Heiferman says that before nine-eleven, “I was the kind of person who thought local community doesn’t matter much if we’ve got the internet and tv.  The only time I thought about my neighbors was when I hoped they wouldn’t bother me.”

He continues, “When the towers fell, I found myself talking to more neighbors … People were looking after each other, helping each other, and meeting up with each other. You know, being neighborly.”

Mr. Heiferman, along with a few other passionate citizens, joined forces and started what is now a 9.5-million-member, world-wide organization with more than 280 thousand monthly groups.   “Meetup” is a way for people to come together in person to make a positive difference locally, nationally, and globally

Meetup bridges the gap caused by today’s technologically advanced society that distances us from each other.  It takes us away from our computers, i-pads, and i-everythings, and allows us to connect with real people, in person.  It is a powerful way to make a difference in the lives around us as well as our own.

If you have never heard of Meetup, go to and see what groups are close to you, involving your areas of interest.  If you do not see one that is compelling to you, start your own!

I started a new meetup just yesterday!  I am now the organizer of the meetup, Positive Journaling Women’s Group, in Calgary.  The address is:  Check it out, and feel free to join me there! 

For the full story behind Meetup, read Scott Heiferman’s blog post:

May you be inspired to join the action in making a personal, positive difference in the world around you through Meetup.

Blessings to you and yours.

Verna Bowen     All Ways Inspired

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