I want to give you a heads up right here in the beginning that even though Fort Smith is included in the title of this blog, and even though it may occasionally appear throughout this blog, Fort Smith is not the subject of the blog. Instead, it is experience that is the focus of this writing. And although the subject of what I will be addressing is quite obvious and known, like many things that are obvious and known, it generally goes unobserved and unrecognized.
We are all familiar with the catchphrase or cliche, "thinking outside the box" or "think outside of the box." I mention this because, in order to explore the Fort Smith experience we are going to have to move our thinking outside a box or two. That noted, some will have more boxes than others to navigate. A method for getting one's thinking outside of a box that has time and again proven itself viable for me, is to precede a posit with "What if..." The 'what if' instantly gives tacit permission, at least temporarily, for one to suspend their beliefs and disbeliefs, thereby, lifting the normally imposed limitations so that something new and non-routine can be considered.
Okay. Let's get our thinking outside of the box shall we?
What if you were a resident of Fort Smith, Ar and you were visiting a place outside the city when a stranger approaches you and asks where you live. Instead of telling the stranger that you live in Fort Smith, you say that you live in the experience of Fort Smith. Of course, the stranger finds your answer to be a bit weird and wants to know what you mean when you say you live in the experience of Fort Smith. I'm with the stranger. That was a most odd answer that you gave to such a simple question. In this 'what if' scenario, what is it that you think you mean?
Well, this is something to ponder until part II comes along. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section.