Tuesday, September 12, 2006





We really lucked out on the parking- right at the corner of the lot across from the water. It was perfect location for hanging out with the bell and an enviable parking spot in a crowded lot. I was there with my good friend from High School that I rarely see and we took turns coming up with different strategies for encouraging people to stop and ring the bell. Just asking people to ring it is pretty unsuccessful. Ignoring, pleading, inviting, or writing signs doesn’t work much better. My suggested that I ask people, “Would you ring this bell for me?” It worked 100% of the time. Unbelievable. People would ask why, and I would tell them what I was doing, and they would ring the bell. Every single person.

So I have a question for anyone reading this. I am not quite satisfied with that question even though it “gets results”. Yes, people do come and ring the bell which is the end result I am hoping for. However, does it matter that people are ringing it because I am asking a favor of them? I am not only interested in the bell ringing but also in the motivation.

I am searching for a question that arouses a person’s curiosity about ringing the bell and lets that motivate him or her to investigate further. Any suggestions?

5 comments:

Ben Berliner said...

Hi Brenda,
After they have rung the bell as a favor to you, you might say something like "Throughout history bells have been used not only to call people together, but also to warn people of an impending disaster. If you were to use this bell to warn people, what would you warn them about?" That might make for some interesting comments.

LibertyBellBob said...

I will gladly venture a theory but more information is required. Exactly what do you say when you are "pleading, inviting, or writing signs."

Monique said...

Perhaps after they've rung it initially at your initiation, out of the motivation to help you, you might ask follow up questions along the lines of
"If you had a bell of your own, when would you ring it?"" "Would how large - or loud - your bell was affect when you rang it?" "What does the sound of
a bell ringing remind you of?"

I wonder if people would ring the bell if it was left by itself out in the open someplace, with no one (apparently) around it? Then when (if?) someone did, you could approch them afterwards and ask why.

I also wonder if somehow the sound of a bell - as Ben Berliner points out - activates memories (from
our own experience, or through our exposure in books, movies, etc.) of warning/impending diaster/death...which might make people a bit hesitant to participate. Times of joyous ringing seem less a part of our bell memories - although I remember as a very young girl hearing the sound of cascading bells in the movie version of "The Sound of Music" when Maria and Captain von Trapp get married...

Lots of people played piano, even if just in their youth. But how many have ever rung a bell before?

Monique said...

Perhaps after they've rung it initially at your initiation, out of the motivation to help you, you might ask follow up questions along the lines of
"If you had a bell of your own, when would you ring it?"" "Would how large - or loud - your bell was affect when you rang it?" "What does the sound of
a bell ringing remind you of?"

I wonder if people would ring the bell if it was left by itself out in the open someplace, with no one (apparently) around it? Then when (if?) someone did, you could approch them afterwards and ask why.

I also wonder if somehow the sound of a bell - as Ben Berliner points out - activates memories (from
our own experience, or through our exposure in books, movies, etc.) of warning/impending diaster/death...which might make people a bit hesitant to participate. Times of joyous ringing seem less a part of our bell memories - although I remember as a very young girl hearing the sound of cascading bells in the movie version of "The Sound of Music" when Maria and Captain von Trapp get married...

Lots of people played piano, even if just in their youth. But how many have ever rung a bell before?

Jackson said...

re. motivation for ringing the bell:"Quasimoto rang the bell"
haiku

Will you ring the bell?
Quasimoto rang the bell;
Why not ring the bell?


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