Reflections, Sunday 2nd August

Arch Bridge (Rakotzbrucke or Devils Bridge) in Kromlau, Germany

What I’ve noticed

I think the changes we’ve seen over the last few months are more systemic and less episodic than I had thought.

This week, I went into my nearest city mall to have my annual eye test – something that, as yet, I can’t do online. Not having been in since lockdown started, I was startled by the changes. Not just the absence of people, and the number of closed shops, but the way in which the whole place operated.

I’d had to make an appointment, and wasn’t allowed in until ten minutes before – no problem with that, but with all shops employing Virus security measures, casual wandering just isn’t possible. Using up some of the spare time to go into Boots to get some toiletries, I found the range had been significantly reduced, I guess to support stock levels and cash flow, but it just meant that what I wanted wasn’t there. And whilst I fully support wandering round with a mask on it’s just uncomfortable.

As the former volume retail and hospitality reacts to circumstances in this mechanical way, whilst online becomes ever more creative and responsive I suspect we will only see a continuing acceleration of the decline of mediocre offerings.

To accept the ongoing measures we need to accept, it will need much better offerings that make the hassle worth it.

Less mediocrity, more craft. Less template, more unique. Less bland, more beautiful.

What I’ve been reading

It must be beautiful. Graham Farmelo. There is much less of a gap between science and spirituality than we commonly assume. This book bridges this gap in a very engaging way.

Braiding Sweetgrass. Robin Wall Kimmerer. There is also less of a gap between science and indigenous wisdoms than we might think. This beautiful book looks at them side by side in a moving and beautiful way.

Things I’ve liked

Less certainty, more enquiry. Maria Konnokova. More reflections on making decisions in times of uncertainty from a professional gambler. FS Podcast.

What to do when the lyrics won’t come. We are all originators of songs – as well as other creative ventures. Here’s a two minute read for when they’re not coming.

How to be a better listener. New York Times article. Brought to my attention by the Do Lectures.

A quote

All change results from a change in meaning. People. like all forms of life, only change when something so disturbs them that they are forced to let go of their present beliefs. Nothing changes until we interpret things differently. Change occurs only when we let go of our certainty, our current views and develop a new understanding of what’s going on”

Meg Wheatley in “Finding our Way”

What I’ve learned

When it comes to thriving in the conditions we face, only three things matter.

  • Our identity – being who we are really, rather than a mask we wear to fit in.
  • The information we pay attention to. Signal or noise is a choice.
  • The relationships we nurture. We become the average of the five people we most associate with.

What I’m up to.

Finding out how to better catalyse small, meaningful groups around what’s important, then connecting them to each other.

Have a great week.

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One response to “Reflections, Sunday 2nd August”

  1. Hmm it looks like your blog ate my first comment (it was extremely long) so
    I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I as well am an aspiring blog writer but
    I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any suggestions for newbie blog writers?

    I’d definitely appreciate it.


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