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DISCUSSION GUIDE

About This Guide

PERSONAL VILLAGE shows how people can restore the humanity to their world by fostering stronger ties with the people in their lives. The questions and discussion topics in this guide will encourage readers to explore the complex issues in this compelling new book.

Suggested Topics For Discussion
  1. Before you began reading Personal Village what were your ideas about the circles of people that support your life? Where did these ideas come from: books or magazine articles, personal experience or memories?
  2. How did your understanding about the personal circles of people around you change as you read this book? Were any of your earlier ideas challenged or confirmed?
  3. Marv Thomas draws from many sources-scholarly studies, existing books, historical examples, movies and TV shows, etc.-to give examples of how human interaction leads to the formation of community. Did you find any of these sources particularly useful in reinforcing the notion of Personal Village? Were there any that seemed to contradict it?
  4. What are the novel challenges in today's world that you are facing as you move to form more meaningful connections with the people around you?
  5. The author suggests that the advertising and media depictions of relationships distort our understanding of human interaction. Has that been your experience, and if so how?
  6. Think of and discuss any institutions (church, salon, fellowship, professional organization, etc.) that can help people come together in a positive way. Can you think of any institutions-formal or informal-that might isolate individuals from a positive, supportive community experiences?
  7. The author repeatedly mentions the values of his upbringing and how they led to his studies of interpersonal and group dynamics. How has your upbringing influenced your experience of your Personal Village?
  8. According to Thomas's sources, "Civilization has changed more in the past half century than at any time in human history." How has the modern world placed individuals at greater risk of isolation and how has it offered greater potential to overcome this isolation? What has been your personal experience of these issues?
  9. Do you think that technology abets or inhibits the formation of Personal Villages?
  10. Is it your experience that relationships forged in the heat of a crisis are inherently stronger, or have the ones established before the onset of a personal crisis been stronger and more resilient?
  11. Do you think that being purposeful and strategic in your relationships undermines your sincerity? If so, can you think of ways to enhance your own Personal Village that are consistent with your values and integrity"
  12. How do your think "roaming" and "The Rule of Seven" worked in ancient human evolution? Do you think that primal instincts, like fear of strangers, impacts how you move about in your Personal Village?
  13. What are some ways you can seek out a group or organization that best suits your interests and personality? What are some of the indications that an organization?s members or group dynamic might be "wrong" for you?
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© 2006 Marv Thomas. All rights reserved.
PERSONAL VILLAGE® is a registered trademark owned by Marv Thomas.
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