Why do we need lighthouses?
Each light tells a story.
Last night, a skeptical friend was asking me about the Lighthouse Map of Overthinkers I had created:
“It’s cool but I just don’t get it. Who are these people? How do you know them? What do the lighthouses mean to them?”
I realize that this confusion could be shared people who visit the map, especially people of my generation (I’m 40) who are distrustful of online-first friendships.
To help make a flat online experience real, I asked a couple of the people on the map to describe why they chose to put a lighthouse up.
“I found out about the map because Meredith laughed at one of my jokes.”
“The name of my lighthouse, The Unbearable Lighthouse of Being, popped into my head because I like words. It’s like in the Hendrix song, ‘Let your freak flag fly…’ I identify with a lot of what the Beautiful Voyager is about. I appreciate the honesty and transparency Meredith brings to the world. It’s my way of putting my flag on the map to tell people that they’re not alone.”
“When I saw it I thought it was so cool, so I just added my lighthouse.”
“I think that it’s a great idea to have a lighthouse out there somewhere. I submitted my form. Can’t wait to see my lighthouse.”
“I just love this map.”
“I always like to use the metaphor of a beacon, and this map represents being a beacon to the world, and being able to share messages, communication, and community…This whole concept is just awesome.”
— Avie Uniglicht, The Lighthouse Beacon of Clear Communication
“I’m kind of a cartography nerd and when I looked at the map, I was entranced. I was just looking at all of the lighthouses and I thought, “This is a cool little map. It’s like an old-school vibe to it.”
The map came around at a time when I was stressed and I didn’t want to feel alone. Meredith was encouraging me to do the lighthouse thing, and I thought, “It’s kind of nice to look at a map and know that I’m not alone.” I guess it was the deeper reason. It’s a visual cue. As an overthinker, the visual cues are what you need to calm yourself down and quit overthinking. To look at that map and say, “I am not alone. There are other people out there just like me.” That’s a huge help.”
— Nathan Snyder, The Lighthouse Map of Found Travelers
“I loved the concept of the map and wanted to be a part of it because it’s a record of people who are welcoming and represent a safe haven for others to be themselves without fear of judgement. It’s a place where you can find different ways of thinking that are supportive and uplifting.”
— Ricardo Paes, The Lighthouse of Perseverance and Affection
“If someone offers you a lighthouse, why would you turn it down? It’s a lighthouse. It’s really cool. As soon as I saw the map I was like, “Yeah I want a lighthouse. If it gets to be where I live? Even better! Ha. I think the real question is, “Why WOULDN’T you want a lighthouse?”
— Josh, Icarus’s Wing Lighthouse
“I thought the map was compelling and very cool. I’m a bit of an overthinker myself which was part of the motivation. I liked the idea of people not feeling alone. I don’t feel particularly alone, but I think the idea is that the more lighthouses there are, the less other people will feel alone. I had that motivation too. To let other people know, “Hey, there’s more of us out here.”
— Steve Bivans, The Bag End Lighthouse