The Meaning of Open.
When we open our homes we are welcoming people. When we open our minds we are learning. We say things like “my door is always open”, we host “open houses” and we work in “open offices”. We say “don’t be so closed minded”. Being “open” is a compliment, a good thing. But there is a palpable fear right now that, as a country, we are literally closing our doors and closing our minds to people, ideas and global truths.
Over the past couple days I was at Airbnb Open in LA, a gathering of people who open their homes — some who enjoy creating an experience for guests and others who have created an income for themselves in the face of unemployment or divorce. But there were people from all over the world, energized and hopeful for our global community. A wonderful reminder of ways we do come together.
I was there for work, to show Airbnb hosts how to share their city, neighborhood highlights or favorite activities with guests before they arrive by making a Flipboard magazine. But, as the conversations unfolded, what I found myself talking about was the importance of shared experiences, learning about places and people and how the stories we read and photos we see are our first understanding of a place and its people.
Opening our minds by sharing ideas and educating ourselves is a long held value in this country. We have relied on our genuine curiosity and media (of all types) to keep us informed; ensuring we can pursue the truth and share ideas that move society forward. As citizens it’s our job to openly support each other and the important work of journalists who bring us the world’s stories, so that we continue to be a nation built on truths, open to new ideas and respectful of each other.
As a closing thought, in the face of fear that we are becoming a more closed nation, I am hopeful that the people I met at Airbnb Open, from around the country and around the world, continue to open their doors, show warmth and compassion to travelers of all types and share and spread ideas that open our minds. I know that is Flipboard’s mission and it was nice to talk about that hopeful message for the past few days.
…And thanks for reading my first Medium post.