Reflect. React Renew
Life’s Biggest Questions. Answered by you.
— by Tanya Schevitz
In an era where most reflection happens publicly in 140 characters or less, the 10Q project provides a private, deeper online forum for personal reflection beyond the waffles you had for breakfast.
Timed to coincide with the Jewish New Year, traditionally a time of introspection and self-reflection, 10Q is a unique project that, started today, will email participants of all backgrounds a question a day about the year that’s past and the year to come. After the 10-day period, the answers are sent into a digital vault. A year later, the answers are returned to participants and the process begins again.
“Thanks to new technologies like texting and Twitter, people have more opportunities than ever to express themselves, but fewer than ever to express themselves well,” said 10Q co-founder Ben Greenman, a New Yorker editor. “What 10Q wants people to do is what people should want to do for themselves — to reflect on life without worrying about status updates.”
Last Thursday, 10Q partnered with the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia on a roundtable discussion at the Museum on reflection. 10Q’s Greenman moderated a panel including the Hebrew Mamita, Vanessa Hidary, and authors Charles London and Matthue Roth.
While the 10Q project is a reinvention of the ancient ritual of reflection between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, and occurs during the Jewish High Holidays, it is intended for people of all backgrounds and has attracted participation of people of many denominations, including Catholics, Episcopalians, Buddhists and Muslims. The 10Q questions are about your place on the planet, and the planet’s place within you.
And regrets are universal, so the events are intended for people to absolve themselves of everything from skipping services to that tweet you wish you never posted.
The 10Q website launched in 2008 and garnered more than 80,000 visitors of all backgrounds last year. Glee’s Jane Lynch, Harry Potter’s Tom Felton and Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody all participated in 10Q last year, and beginning on September 28th, the first of the series of 10 questions will again be sent out to those who sign up at http://DoYou10Q.com. 10Q can also be found on Facebook and Twitter: @10_Q. 10Q is a partnership between Nicola Behrman, Ben Greenman, and Reboot’s Acting Executive Director Amelia Klein.
Reboot is a catalyst to catalysts – a growing network of thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to “reboot” the culture, rituals, and traditions we’ve inherited and make them vital and resonant in today’s world. In partnership with the Reboot network, we create opportunities for our peers to gather, engage, question, and self-organize with their own networks, in their own way, in their own time, using the magazines, books, films, records, local salons, gatherings, and events we develop together. Reboot has a track record of reinventing Jewishrituals for a broad audience, including the Sabbath Manifesto project that had Katie Couric telling the nation to unplug, the Sukkah City project that had New Yorkers paying attention to 12 re-imagined Sukkahs in the City’s Union Square Park and DAWN, a revision of the traditional holiday of Shavuot as a cultural arts festival at the California Academy of Science in San Francisco.
10Q 2011 Questions:
- Describe a significant experience that has happened in the past year. How did it affect you? Are you grateful? Relieved? Resentful? Inspired?
- Is there something that you wish you had done differently this past year? Alternatively, is there something you’re especially proud of from this past year?
- Think about a major milestone that happened with your family this past year. How has this affected you?
- Describe an event in the world that has impacted you this year. How? Why?
- Have you had any particularly spiritual experiences this past year? How has this experience affected you? “Spiritual” can be broadly defined to include secular spiritual experiences: artistic, cultural, and so forth.
- Describe one thing you’d like to achieve by this time next year. Why is this important to you?
- How would you like to improve yourself and your life next year? Is there a piece of advice or counsel you received in the past year that could guide you in this project?
- Is there something (a person, a cause, an idea) that you want to investigate more fully in 2011?
- What is a fear that you have and how has it limited you? How do you plan on letting it go or overcoming it in the coming year?
- When September 2011 rolls around and you receive your answers to your 10Q questions, how do you think you’ll feel? What do you think/hope might be different about your life and where you’re at as a result of thinking about and answering these questions?