Having been confined to our homes starved for social interaction while facing the most tumultuous period in recent human history, it can be rather jarring to find ourselves with increasingly busy social schedules. The dramatic rise of mental health issues, emotional and economic depression like we’ve never seen, not to mention the rise of suicides in the pandemic, are felt by all of us even if we’ve been doing relatively okay. As more of the population is vaccinated, we’re beginning to reconnect with our communities and intimate, focused gatherings have never been more timely.
The salon hosting movement Susan has been calling for the last several years starts with you taking it upon yourself to be that pillar within your own community by inviting groups together. There’s no better antidote to the underlying unease still pervading our collective headspace than face-to-face connection. And we don’t have to pretend like there’s nothing happening outside our privileged bubbles, we can talk about how to be of meaningful service in the world while having a top-notch dinner party with fabulous food, cocktails and all sorts of guests.
“I know that if every person – starting with YOU – hosted a couple of imperfect, spirited gatherings with food and drink, warm conversation and live music throughout the year, we would change the world bit by bit in our communities.”Susan MacTavish Best, POSTHOC + The Salon Host Founder
As Susan’s Salon Manifesto espouses, “Experience tells me that when you put people of different ages, eclectic backgrounds and a whole plethora of interests together in a room as guests, and you make just the tiniest bit of effort to host (consider it a gift to your friends, society, and yourself) and you engage people, magic happens. Barriers break down. Your guests listen to one another, ask each other questions, and marvel at the unlikely answers. Guests and hosts finish the evening feeling sated and happy, soaked in serotonin, a collective of humans, a community that is connected. This is the world I want to live in, don’t you?
Participating in community is what keeps us excited to be alive, for more on that read about why salon-ing makes you happy. But between the growing isolationism from the smart-phone takeover and the quarantine, we need social interaction more than ever, bonus points if it’s stimulating and purposeful in the spirit of the salon. POSTHOC Podcast guest Professor Tom Oliver in conversation with Templeton Foundation made reference to the phenomenon of social contagion during an interview with Susan, an eerily relevant metaphor describing how human beings influence each others’ attitudes and preferences through our community networks.
“If we act with more empathy and more awareness of our connections there’s the potential we can change other people and we can hit these tipping points in society,” he explained, and it can start with just one person (ahem, you!).”Tom Oliver
If you’ve ever so much as made dinner for a group of friends and participated in stimulating conversation, you’re already experienced in organic saloning, so hosting should come quite naturally. What are you waiting for? The Salon Host’s Why & How To Host guide will give you everything you need to be able to pull off a proper salon, the most important being a dedication to imperfection. The whole point is to gather and connect, not achieve some ideal. As you keep hosting, your salons run will smoother and you’ll help foster more relationships in your communities and everyone who participates will be happier for it and so very grateful.