I don’t believe in a higher power. I don’t fault other people for doing so, I just don’t. I’m a secular humanist. I believe in the power of people — to make things bad, and to make things better.
That’s why I believe in Gangplank.
I would never make light of anyone else’s beliefs. I’m not suggesting that Gangplank is really a church, or a religion, or that it shares the same impact over millions that many belief systems do.
But for me, it serves many of the same purposes that a church might for a believer.
When I was growing up in Tucson, I always envied kids who grew up near the ocean, mostly because I felt like they always had a place to go where everyone was hanging out. Tucson was too big to have a “town square” for cruising, and too in-the-middle-of-nowhere to have a primary destination for all of us high school kids to congregate around.
Grownup life can be like that too — especially if you’re not working, working constantly, or working at home. Gangplank is a physical place I can go to almost anytime, and I know I’ll run into friends. Kind of like Costco, but less expensive.
My guess is that the community of “Gangplankers” has to be at least 100 times as large as the people who actually visit the physical location in any given week. I know lots of folks who love Gangplank, but hardly ever go. Which is fine, because while it’s a great place to be, I think the real value of Gangplank is in something much more important.
Gangplankers all have something in common — we believe we can (and must) work together to lift each other up. Not compete, not be secretive, not trample each other to get ahead — collaborate for success. That’s not a coincidence — it’s a founding principle of the community, and one I see constantly exercised and reinforced. Everything else about Gangplankers can differ wildly — religious beliefs, political affiliations, age, education level, skills — but this one central belief holds true throughout.
I dare you to spend time within the Gangplank community and NOT volunteer for some community event, or start mentoring startups, or participate in some activity to help somebody, with something. It’s a constant topic of conversation, and at any given time you can find multiple things to help with, and many places your skills are not only needed, but valued. You can make a difference.
Suspend Your Disbelief
I know there are people out there who think I talk way too much about Gangplank, who think I’m completely off my rails talking about this little concept in Chandler changing so much about how things can be done. I bring people to Gangplank and it takes a while for them to really believe what they’re seeing. ”This is free?” ”I can come any time?” ”You guys really help each other out?” “This is the place that changed your life?”
It is. You can. We do. It has.
If you haven’t checked it out, come on over. We’d love to have you.