Toy Story — the Powerful Experience of Promotion  

.0. Toy Story .1. syllabus

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Abstract: This is a group exercise for men, originally written to (in old jargon) "help men see how and why sponsorship is the unique way for a man to re-experience the full power and impact of his initiation". It could easily be re-written for gender neutrality. It illustrates the more general principle that [promotion+promotion] of others is the way to create a new experience out of an old experience, and uses a specific example of childhood toys to illustrate the principle. It uses a guided visualization and two (or three if extended) sets of volunteer sharing.

(Prerequisites for GEL: Promotion; speaking personally; teaching techniques for volunteer sharing and guided visualization.)

.41. TDB: 630

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Toy Story: Illustration of the personal benefit from promotion
|http://www.mrob.com/pub/std/toystory.html|

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(SETUP FOR G.V. — ELIMINATE DISTRACTIONS)

We are going to be using .vivid. .imagination. — so do what you need to eliminate distractions. You can close your eyes if you want, or just get calm and peaceful. (count 15 seconds)

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(-GV-) — YOU HAD a GREAT WEEK — WORK - FAMILY - FRIENDS

You have just had a really great week. Work went really well this week — you got a lot done and enjoyed every bit of it. Your co-workers, your friends and family and everyone you care about, were doing well this week too. Things are just going great.

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(-GV-) — YOU are HOME ALONE for the WEEKEND

It's the .weekend. — Saturday morning. Everyone is away for the weekend. Your wife, kids, roommates, friends, whoever would normally be around, is away and won't be back until Monday. You have the whole place to yourself.

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(-GV-) — NOTHING URGENT or IMPORTANT to DO

There is nothing urgent or important for you to do.

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(-GV-) — ATTIC or BASEMENT or YARD SALE — CHILDHOOD TOYS

You find yourself in your attic, or in the basement or wherever you have your old stuff — or, if you don't have old stuff lying around, you find yourself at a yard sale — and you see some toys that remind you of your childhood — and you wonder, what if — you remember your favorite toy — what if I could find that toy?

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(-GV-) — YOU FIND YOUR FAVORITE CHILDHOOD TOY

And you look behind some other junk and then suddenly — there it is. Your favorite toy from your childhood, it's sitting right there in front of you.

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(-GV-) — YOU REMEMBER AGE, LOCATION, FRIENDS

It brings back all sorts of memories — you remember how old you were, and where you were when you first got this thing, (pause) and you remember where you spent all your time playing with it (pause)

(When working with women only, the element of relationship should be more strongly implied, by replacing the following with "and you remember the other girls who played with you.")

and if there were others with you — you remember them too.

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(-GV-) — SO GLAD YOU FOUND THIS

You are so glad you found this — it's putting you back in touch with so many great memories. The perfect thing to find on a free weekend after a great week.

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[STOP] — (INSPECT) — SPECIFICITY — JUVENILE — NONLIVING — NONCUSTOM

*(This interaction selects out the types of toys that do not work for the lesson — see below)*

(Stop the guided visualization)

(Ask a few men to share with the circle)

All right — Who has a clear idea of the favorite toy they found?

(Call on a man who indicates so)

What was your toy, and how old were you?

(Look for each of the following distinctions and respond as appropriate:)

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(Nonspecific) (examples): "Super Nintendo" or "books" (not sufficiently focused)

(Ask them to be more specific): Super Nintendo (or "books") is too general. Tell us which game, which cartridge (or "which book") was your favorite.

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(Adult Appeal) (examples): "Record player" or "Bicycle" (these toys often still appeal to a man as an adult)

(make sure the toy is from boyhood only) It should be something you haven't done since you were a boy. Is it true you haven't played music (or ridden a bike) since you were a boy? (-- And if the man replies NO, encourage him to pick another toy.)

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(Living thing) (example): "My dog Otto" (a living thing creates new experience all the time by itself)

(In this case an explanation is deliberately withheld) It should be something inanimate. You wouldn't leave your dog in a box in the attic for 20 years.

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(Personal Creation) (example): "clay pots I made in summer camp" (this toy was created by him and given by him to himself)

(Tell the man to choose something that came from outside himself) It should be something that was created by, or that came .from. — someone else.

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(No Relationship) (women only) (no clear example) (this toy was always used alone, not with other girls or boys)

(When working with women, try to emphasize the preference for toys that involved a friendship experience with other children, rather than toys that were a solitary experience) Try to think of something that you and other children enjoyed playing with together.

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(RESUME -GV-) — BAD WEATHER — NO GOOD TV — WHAT the HECK!

All right, we are going to go back into vivid imagination.

(pause)

You are still at the yard sale or in the attic or basement looking at your toy. After a moment — considering that it's bad weather, and there's nothing good on T V today — you say to yourself, what the heck! Let's try playing with this thing.

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(-GV-) — TAKE the TOY to YOUR CAVE — PRIVATE

So you take the toy, to the place you usually hang out when you're alone for the weekend.

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(-GV-) — YOU BEGIN PLATING with it — a FEW MINUTES

You start playing with it — for a few minutes. It brings back some memories — it's very familiar.

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[STOP] — (QUESTION) — WHAT HAPPENS? — ORIGINAL ENJOYMENT? — (-> NO)

Now I'd like to ask you — what will happen? In particular — how much of the original feelings and emotions from this toy — are you going to get.

(pause, if no response) Who has a clear idea of how much of the original experience would come from playing with their old childhood toy.

(ask for a brief answer from a few men)

(if no-one claims they will get the full experience then ask for it) Are there any men who feel they would get the full power of the original experience — by repeating the experience as an adult.

(and if there were men who said they would — find out how many) How many men feel they would get the full power of the original experience — by repeating the experience as an adult.

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WHY? — (X OUTGROWN: STILL KIDS) — (-> BEEN THERE DONE THAT)

(Some men might have given explanations already; this is to clarify and solidify the answer and might be unnecessary)

[To the men who said they don't get the full experience] — Why don't you get the full experience?

(GEL listens for the concept of "outgrown", and if present replace with "lost novelty". When working with a small group or an individual, this should always be drawn out explicitly.)

I would like to suggest, that we don't outgrow things from childhood — you can always keep the youthful spirit — but instead I suggest that the toy you are thinking of simply isn't new anymore. The novelty is gone. It's no longer a new experience. Can you go with that?

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(the THESIS) — FULL RECALL of FEELING — IS — POSSIBLE!

What I want to propose to you now is — that it is possible, using your favorite toy from your childhood, to re-experience all the feelings, and emotions that you originally had with it — and with full force and intensity.

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(DELAY) HOW? — WITH THAT TOY?

(after a pause) How is that .possible.. How do you fully re-experience every bit of it, using .that. .toy..

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(This might be answered very quickly or very slowly depending on the men in the circle. Here I address the very slow circle and the very fast.)

(slow response)

(wait for an answer, if it takes a while encourage them:) Who has an idea for how that can be done?

(and if it takes yet a while more give the hint:) Some of the fathers should have an answer.

(fast response)

(if essentially the right answer is given, re-state clearly, then ask for the principle, as described below)

(SOLICIT ANSWERS) — (FATHERS?)

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(CLARIFY the ANSWER)

*(Depending on your style and the circle you may wish to use additional questions to bring out each of the points in the following — or just state it directly. In either case it should be stated clearly at least once.)*

(the five points):

Find a boy

who you trust, love and respect

who stands to .benefit. from it —

give it to him —

and .experience. him experiencing it.

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(ASK WHY)

Why is this the way to re-experience it? Why does giving it to a boy, work.

(Pretty nearly answer will work here, as long as it is not contradictory and matches the analogy to the experience of sponsorship.)

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(the PRINCIPLE)

(restate the principle clearly at least once)

It is a .new. .experience., because it is a .new. .person. — but it is the same experience because it is the .same. .toy.. (if it feels appropriate, repeat after a pause)

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UNIVERSAL — this WORKS for EVERY POWERFUL EXPERIENCE

This principle is .universal. — it applies to every powerful experience you have .ever. .had. in your life.

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YOUR INITIATION

This principle, applies to the experience you had in your initiation.

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VISION — SPONSORSHIP by CHOICE

(This part of the exercise is personal to the GEL. It should be rewritten by each GEL who intends to deliver it. The parts in bold are considered essential.)

(pause)

You might have heard me say that part of my vision for the division is that it is a place where men can re-live their initiation, if that is something they feel they want to do.

[[Reliving one's initiation is possible:]] You are only initiated once — but it is possible to re-live your initiation, together with the full emotional power and feeling of that experience. The way to do that is to —

find a man

who you love, trust and respect,

who stands to benefit from it —

give it to him —

and experience him experiencing it.

[[It is a choice:]] If you feel this is something you want to experience — sponsorship will give it to you.

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[EXTENSION: WITNESS to SPONSORSHIP] — (FOLLOWING CARDS OPTIONAL)

(This is an extension of the exercise, asking recent sponsors to share, from their personal experience, what they personally got from being a sponsor. Depending on where this group of men is in the enrollment cycle, whether they have a clear group awareness of the experiences of the sponsors already, and other factors, you may or may not wish to do this part.)

Who has been a sponsor in the last [year or so].

(Choose one of the sponsors)

Who did you sponsor, and what weekend did you sponsor him into.

Tell us about what you personally got from being a sponsor.

(There will be a tendency for sponsors to make it about the experience of altruism, the enjoyment they get simply from watching their sponsored-man benefit. When this happens get them to think specifically about their own "selfish" experience) That is good, but I'd like to hear what you personally experienced in yourself — apart from the feelings of having helped another man, how did it benefit you yourself?

(Some sponsors still won't have a "selfish" answer and that's okay — let it go, and ask to hear from another man)

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ANY SPONSORS who RELIVED WEEKEND MEMORIES

(If it hasn't come up yet you can be a bit more explicit by asking as follows)

Are there any recent sponsors here for whom the sponsorship experience, brought back memories or feelings from your own weekend.

(Solicit responses and ask for specifics)


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