“Hanging Out.” A conversation with author Sheila Liming about her new book, the epidemic of loneliness, and what we’re doing at Gather.
Sunday, June 11, 2023 at 1:00pm
Gather: 48 Merchants Row, Middlebury
Sheila Liming, professor at Champlain College in Burlington and the author of “Hanging Out,” argues that the simple act of getting together for unstructured time is essential to our wellbeing.
Bread Loaf Mountain Zen Community created Gather, a free and open-door “community living room,” as a way to address the epidemic of loneliness. The newly released Surgeon General Advisory raises alarm about the devastating impact of the epidemic of loneliness and isolation in the United States. The sixth and final foundational pillar of the Surgeon General’s national strategy to combat the effects of loneliness is to “cultivate a culture of connection.”
Dr. Liming thinks that Hanging Out has been devalued and nearly lost in our society, which comes at a cost. Reclaiming hanging out as part of our lives can help cultivate a culture of connection.
Here’s an excerpt from Dr. Liming’s recent interview with Ezra Klein at the New York Times.
EZRA KLEIN: So you write that, quote, “It’s no secret that modern life is isolating and that if anything, it looks to be headed in the direction of increased, not decreased, isolation.” Why do you think that’s the case?
SHEILA LIMING: Well, there’s a number of factors, I think, that affect the increasing circumstances of our isolation — factors such as time, decreased amounts of time that can be spent freely, especially freely in social scenarios where we are just hanging out with other people, interacting with them, having conversation with no set agenda or real sort of goal that’s supposed to guide that.
Please come and “hang out” with us and Dr. Liming at Gather on Sunday June 11 at 1:00pm to engage in a conversation about the benefits of creating unstructured spaces where the purpose is simply to gather together. Light snacks and refreshments will be offered. If you plan to attend, please let us know by e-mailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This event is open to everyone and is by donation. If you would like to support Gather, please consider bringing a financial gift or donating online.