On modern myths (of value)
I felt inspired to look at some modern myths that many live by and measure value against. I want to walk another path. Or at least become aware, so I see traps and alternatives and therefore can choose more freely…
*A myth of speed.
The value of speed is an unquestioned king, but I feel we really need to do things in our own tempo… and with our own filters…We feel a constant pressure to keep up pace, not only in business and innovation, also in bed and self development.
With “staying updated” as a measure of surviving in an extending world with ocean of choices , FOMO (fear of missing out) strengthens its roots. Wanting to get fast from A to B, we miss a lot of beauty and nuances in transition periods and transition places.
*posture up, girl, boy!
It was Frank Chimero that wrote about ‘methodology of speed’, but I really liked more he had to say: “Holding yourself together is a weird sort of performance, the kind of thing that makes you feel lonely in the first place, even if you’re all together in the same room, feeling the same thing. You want to believe it, but you just can’t be sure. (…)”*
In a group I worked with for years, I would often hide the fact that I am not good enough yet, not prepared enough, not dedicated enough, so I would create a distance of “proffessionalism” to keep an image and avoid being challenged. It took some honesty to come to discover that we were all feeling a bit lonely for years, putting exactly the same show for each other.
How much richer my life is now after changing my mindset and starting to appreciate be vulnerable, more honest and challenge each other to grow together.
*obligation to clarity
Inspired by Eugenio Barba, who writes:
“One of the most refined totalitarianisms of our time is the obligation to clarity, the disdain for the state of I-do-not-understand, the shared devaluation of the feeling of incomprehension whose secret effects prompt decisive choices in our life. The cult of clarity, which served to enlighten minds, serves today also to darken them.
Every time we turn on the television, open a newspaper or listen to a politician or an expert, the world is presented to us as something that has been understood and can be explained. Every piece of information depicts facts coherently interpreted and commented, ready to be classified; or else exposes the impatient waiting for the solution of the enigmas of politics and news stories. There must be an explanation.
If it is late in coming, the event will in time end among the refuse of unexplained news, and thereby destined to extinction. Anyone who speaks or writes fears above all not to be clear. The need to be understood impels us to censor our reactions and feelings which we are unable to understand in depth. Even in linguistic behavior, the expressions that cannot be clearly translated from one language into another are discarded.
The gift of clarity loses vigor and sense when it buries the gift of ambiguity and the sensation of not seizing everything.” **
*only experts have a voice
…and it’s them both finding problems and deciding which of the problems get bold. By the way, talking about experts, Laurie is a great society critic… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvhfSH9CbCw
*unmeasurable value is not a value.
Wasn’t it that also sociology had once hard time to prove its academic worth and that’s why it started to apply scientific methods copied from natural sciences? The quantitative is easier, more statistical, therefore more creditable, so it rules out the qualitative. I’ve been always more interested in grey zones, the mysterious, the fuzzy. But I couldn’t explain it, so I wouldn’t speak. And as much as it’s a treasure for poetry, art or storytelling, in a business world somehow one always has to hide the I-DO-NOT-KNOW to avoid being discredited as doubtful negotiator or unserious salesman.
*trust brands, ignore the rest
we are sheep creating inequalities and killing variety. Non-branded products often come with the same quality as big brands, and are often more socially-oriented. But we don’t take time (and risk?) to research, find new treasures on our own and spread the bug. We are busy observing how others do it… and follow. At the same time, we have this buzzing dream of being original. Well, good that it’s also there, it a drive for change.
*charisma belongs to the extraordinary.
No! It’s actually needed in everyday life whenever we interact or create something together.
What is for example value in a good project manager? Whenever I was multitasking coordinating a performance, a creative event, a fundraising campaign, I would spend a lot of energy on things that no one described for me as important. But I am telling you, it’s not enough to be prepared for the meeting with thorough research results or creative ideas I brainstormed on my own. It’s actually during face-to-face meeting where the real skills are put to a play.
Presence, good, contageous energy of belief and self-confidence, social skills, authenticity, attractiveness and responsibility. Responsibility for one’s own capabilities, aspirations and boundaries, for seeing things clearly as they are without illusions, yet still feeding enchantment…a driving force for cooperation. More: honesty, passion and leading by example. And from there a smart balance between feeling into the group and keeping deadlines. Those skills are not part of the contract, but they are worth a lot…and can be more draining than subject matter. My intention is to start drawing people’s awareness to this angle to make them maybe reconsider the definition of value.
*worship of productivity
…and guilt that follows
I don’t always want to be clear, professional and detail-oriented, there’s no time for that. I prefer to be dynamic and appealing!
It’s also performance art I co-created with Club de la Faye and SIGNA that reconvinced me deeply in that showing backstage on the stage can embrace magic. Playing with reality vs fiction, bringing absurdity, imperfection and chaos can create the most inspiring interactions.
And if I was waiting to become perfect before I show myself, you wouldn’t be reading this blog before I polish my style. Otherwise how can you witness how I develop?