We have been living life at an increasingly frenetic pace. The demands on our attention is enormous.
We need a hand, and that hand is the label,
Just as Steve Jobs wardrobe was famously limited – mostly T Shirts, all black in order to avoid having to make a frivilous decision, so we adopt a similar policy.
On the outside, it’s what we wear, what we drive, where we’re seen.
The difference in effective functionality is minimal. In London, the difference in “transport performance” between a Ferarri, a Skoda, a motorbike, a pushbike and the Tube is minimal.
Different levels of ego supported by different levels of expensive marketing, the cost of different pressures on the planet. Differences in retained happiness?; marginal at best.
On the outside, it’s about how we label what is around us.
People. Organisations, “others”. Views formed from limited first hand experienced and framed by media with an agenda, capitalising (in every sense) our busyness and hunger for consumption with very little attention to quality or provenance.
It seems paradoxical that as the most cognitively gifted species on the planet, we choose to squander it.
One of the most notable features of the last twelve weeks is unexpected outbreaks of humanity, as we travel less, spend more time with fewer people, and have time to think and be aware.
We have become hugely aware of which jobs really matter, and of the grace and selflessness with those who perform them do their jobs.
It’s been a glimpse of how we can be better, and reduce the day to day bullshit we blindly tolerate, if we choose.
It’s time for us to lose the labels that blind us to what’s possible, and focus on the substance, and privilege that is being alive.
It won’t happen as a mass movement – there’s too much vested interest in the bullshit areas of the economy, but we can make a difference individually, with those who matter to us.
If we take 5 minutes at the beginning of each day, considering what we’re going to do, why it matters, what it uses up and what it contributes, then another 5 minutes at the end of the day considering what we’ve been grateful for and whose lives we’ve improved. It’s a start.
There’s going to be a big bunch of people talking – really good conversations about subjects like this at “Transcending the Crisis” on Friday. I’ll be there. Be good to see you.