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The Awesomeness of Sendabot

Guest Blog Post From Ariana Lutterman

In 2013 I inviting the world to steal the idea of the Bots and make their own. Hundreds accepted the challenge. Here is one story from Bot maker Ariana Lutterman and her awesome sendabots.- Gary Hirsch

From Ariana Lutterman-

I have always been a doodler, an optimist, a lover of weird silly made-up creations, and a believer in the power of small happy things--a sunflower, a spontaneous note, a piece of chocolate when you need it--to brighten someone’s day. So when I saw Gary Hirsch’s TED Talk where he spoke about the bot creatures he was releasing into the world as tiny missives of positivity, my first thought was, “I wish I had thought of that!” The idea stayed tucked away somewhere in the back of my mind for years, until a few months ago when I found myself in the peculiar, destabilizing limbo of post-graduation. Speaking to peers who had also recently graduated, I found the same sentiments echoed again and again. Talented, creative, passionate people suddenly found themselves without a community, or at a motivational standstill, or unsure of how to channel their immense talents and energies into something meaningful and productive. Many people found themselves pulled toward new cities that didn’t feel like home or careers that didn’t challenge or inspire them. Many of them no longer knew what they were looking for in a job or city or creative project anymore. I wanted to tell them all that they were not alone in these doubts and uncertainties. And I wanted to find a way to send messages of support and creativity and action and bravery out into the world that could be self-perpetuating, letting words of encouragement bounce from one person in need to the next. 

While visiting Portland, I stumbled across one of Gary Hirsch’s Brave Bots in a local shop, and the first domino seemed to fall into place (see what I did there?). I spent an entire afternoon trying to brainstorm all of the possible needs people I knew could have for a bot and possible messages that could be dispatched to fill them. After many iterations, I found that the ideas could really be distilled to just a few core messages. I bought a box of dominos, broke out my coloured Sharpies and acrylics, and set to work creating Love, Grow, Be Present, You Can Do It, Inspiration, Positivity, Strength, and Take Charge Bots. With my little bot army nearly ready, I typed out detailed instructional messages for each type of bot, hoping to speak to as many different reasons someone might take out their bot as I could, and slid my bots and their cards into pouches. They were ready for dispatch.

In the weeks since my bots were sent out, many people have told me that their bot was “just what they needed.” My second shipment began arriving just after the election, at a time when so many people were having a hard time finding optimism and feeling supported. I think a physical reminder of support became increasingly important, and people began messaging me with new names and addresses--this time of people who were strangers to me--and asking me to send them a particular type of bot. I love the process of making the bots and I love being able to send them to people who need them, but what I love the most about this movement Gary Hirsch has created is that it provides people with a way to turn their empathy into action. I love that someone can translate a conversation with a friend into a single powerful message--to be brave, to take charge, to be present--that that friend can take with them. So thank you, Gary Hirsch, from Ariana at @sendabot!

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