What is Networking?
(How It All Began!)
Networking is a physical manifestation of the Aquarian Age. A vibration being felt all over the world, the inner compulsion to connect and linkup with others.
Since the beginning of December of 1980, I have become, what is known as, a networker. At first, focusing my energies, locally in Chicago and then in April of 1981, began a series of travels that have taken me from: Chicago to Alamogordo-NM, to Los Angeles,to San Diego, back to Los Angeles, to San Francisco, to Mt. Shasta-CA, to San Francisco, to Los Angeles, to Joshua Tree-CA (I wonder why?), to Sedona-AZ, to Albuquerque-NM, to Denver-CO, to Kansas City-MO and finally returned to Chicago, in July Of 1981. Later, from the summer of 1981 to the date of this publication, I have taken side trips to Madison-WI, Ann Arbor/Detroit-MI, Iowa City-IO and Milwaukee-WI. During my west coast trip, one could easily recognize this traveling networker because he carried a brown briefcase without a handle (fell off in San Francisco) serving as his office. Now, he has modernized his equipment and through a gift from friend, Bob Scheinfeld, has a small blue traveling bag instead, with the letter 'J' engraved on it. The times they are-a-changin!
On these travels, I have met the most interesting people, other networkers and New Age individuals. Exchanging different types of information, comparing notes, giving out a few names and-address, receiving a few new ones back. And on and on a networker's life goes. At present, I have accumulated a fairly large personal directory of names, the list in Part VI, are the most fruitful. Most of these trips have been funded by my own pocket. I discovered that most networkers provide their services free of charge as there is no jobs in society for networkers. The only eople who are able to make a living or receive reimbursement are groups /individuals who are printing directories or have a computer directory that provides services.
Most of what I have learned as a networker was derived from the California trip. Even before I left for the west coast, there were tremendous inner struggles I had to deal with. My inner self advised me to go because there was great spiritual growth awaiting. Many of us have heard about the spiritual revolution going on in California. Plus, if there was any place to find other networks and networkers, it would be in sunny California. My logical mind said, "Hey, are you crazy, you can't afford to take such a trip!" I would be able to stay for two weeks and not have any money to return. It would be a trip of total faith. I had sold all the material possessions I could for funding (I did not have a job at this time). Many of my friends in Chicago also were trying to talk me out of it. Plus, there was a time when I wasn't even sure how I would travel to California. The friend's name my inner self kept repeating to me, Randy P., had trouble giving me a definite answer. Part of him knew he should go and the other part was concerned about losing his job and how he would survive in California, since he didn't have that much money-either. Anyway, it all worked out and we took Randy's car, a Honda Civic and off we went.
Once in the Golden State, money became a problem again. After a week in Los Angeles, Randy and I were running out. Randy decided to return home but I could not go with him. I had just begun to make networking contacts and had to follow them up. On my birthday, April 17th, I had two dollars to my name. I was confused and not sure what to do. Little did I know, that back home in old Chicago, my father had sold my pinball game to a person at his office. The next day I had $352, which my father wired to my brother who lived in Los Angeles. My brother kept $160 so I would have money for plane fare, to get back. I told my brother I would not be flying home, somehow I would be driving. I could not tell him how this would happen, just that I had a very strong inner feeling that this would be the future. Actually, I received this insight while taking a shower at his apartment. I took the rest of the money and hopped on board a bus to San Francisco, six hours away. This gave me a chance to catch up with my writing, I sent 40 postcards home. Eventually in San Francisco, I ran out of money again but through the wonderful hospitality of the people living there, I was able to keep going. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank the people on all my trips who helped with hospitality and guidance. You were all so wonderful. Many of these people are listed at the end of the chapter.
When it was time for me to leave California (from Los Angeles), the car I had been told would appear, did! A friend of my brother's, who went to high school with him in my home town of Skokie, was going to college at the University of California, Los Angeles branch (UCLA). She did not want to drive back to Skokie (2,200 miles away) and was looking for someone else to do this. She flew home on a jet with her parents who came out to visit her. Naturally, I accepted her offer and had. a chance to visit a few more cities on he way home. Originally, I thought this West Coast trip would take about a month and a half, not three months. It was one of the most incredible learning experiences. A great amount of the information within this book was inspired by this journey.
Perhaps some of you are wondering, "Why go to all this trouble?" "What's so important about meeting all these people?" "Is it just for fun (is it fun?), or is there a hidden purpose?"
The answer to these questions is quite simple - Unity, Brotherhood and the attempt to create planetary harmony. Today, there are many people who are hungry, do not have proper clothing or shelter, the freedom to live whatever lifestyle they choose without fear, etc ... But my friends, everything we need to make the planet work is right here. Just look around you, you can find it! Open up your eyes, take those blinders off! The key to accomplishing this monumentous task is one word, "SHARING". Sharing our resources, life experiences, ideas and knowledge/wisdom unselfishly. And this is what networking is a prime example of. One of the most powerful tools we have at our disposal for termendous social transformation. I perceive four basic objectives of networking, which are:
By no means, does networking imply taking all the people, organizations and networks and lumping them into one large organization or network. What is being said is: Provide an open market where all members of the collective network can meet and present their wares. It is totally each members' free will choice to decide how to utilize the network. Thus, you see there is very little structure. All groups and people are connected by the central information exchange system. Membership is open to anyone, there is no bias at all! No qualifications, no pre-requisites. The collective network's strength and vitality depends on the collective contributions of its members. Each member must deal with their own responsibilities but can petition to other members for assistance. In all legal matters, the individual member must handle their own situation, it can not be pinned on to the network. The collective network takes no political position, it is merely a service for the community and vehicle to bring people together for whatever reasons.
- 1. Open up communication channels so one is well informed about the activities and services available locally, nationally or internationally. What types of individuals, groups and networks exist.
- 2. A sharing of resources on projects of mutual interest. Some one else may have in abundance what you lack and visa-versa. A collective effort could improve the quality of the finished project.
- 3. Exchange of services (barter). Sometimes money is not available but your time or knowledge most assuredly is!
- 4. An informational exchange service system. This system will allow people to find specific services or information immediately. It will be a focusing point for all people to come together. There are many forms the information system can take.
The key to a successful network is total cooperation and participation. This system can be an extremely efficient service in satisfying all member's needs. However, the information exchange service must be supported by the members or community it is serving by: time, proper funding (and a fair and inexpensive system of fees or donations) and human resources. Since the collective network may not dictate what is expected from each member(due to free will and that each member's situation is unique and different), the members should be honest and contribute whatever type of resources they can comfortably afford to give. If only a few people are working on the network ( a common situation in many organizations), doing the jobs of the rest, it will be very difficult to survive. There are many cities in the United States who are working toward this goal, to create a collective network. In Part III, is a summary of my visits to several such places and the status of their networking activity. I hope this will give the reader an idea of what networking is like and the different approaches that are being used. But first, before we share this information, let's see if we can take a look at some of the qualities of a networker. What makes them tick and some of the trade secrets.
Suggestions on Being
a (Good?) Networker
Attn: Joshua "Illinois" Shapiro
Bloomington, IL, USA
FAX: (206) 350-4985 firstname.lastname@example.org
Last Modified by Illinois: 3/25/2008