Reflections Sunday 23rd August

Mount Rundle behind

What I’ve noticed.

I’ve found myself reflecting on the nature and importance of connection this week.

Technology makes it easy to connect on a personal level. I think that has a danger in that it can make connection casual, like collecting points.

Relationships define our lives, and I believe we need to take each and every one seriously. There is much evidence, anecdotal and more academic, that we can handle about 150 of them and that beyond that, it becomes mechanical – a connection, not a relationship. Connections do little for us on their own. They are a little bit like a light switch – we need to turn the switch to light them up.

We also have other less personal relationships, and I’ve been reflecting on the role of money as a proxy for them. How we spend our money, and who we spend it with is a relationship.

We can buy a coffee from a local craft coffee shop, who care about what they do and are part of our community and recycle the money we give them locally or we can spend it on the mass marketed stuff where the money drains away to shareholders we don’t know via tax reduction channels and never see it again.

If, as I believe, we can only manage a finite number of relationships, and that if some of those are about who we spend our money with, I think we need to pay more attention to what it says about us and our values.

What I’ve been reading and listening to

My reading looks like being reduced for the next couple of months as projects started at the beginning of lockdown bear fruit, and demand attention, but I can’t go without 🙂

Wilding. Isabella Tree. A book for our times – the return of a farm to nature, and the pressures, insights and lessons learned.

Cognitive Dissonance. Mark McLaughlin. A neurosurgeons take on fear when you have to finish what you started. A reread – inspiring and scary. How many of us feel right now, but without the immediate feedback of messing around in somebody’s head.

What we will and won’t remember about the pandemic. FT.com. (Free to read)

I’m also listening to more podcasts. I’ve always preferred reading – but some of these are now getting really good, and I’m a convert.

Self Belief. Tom Goodwin. Found via Do lectures. Controversial. Provocative. Valuable. Make up your own mind.

Revisionist History. Malcolm Gladwell. Because he’s just worth listening to I find.

I’m a fan of all things Hiut, from their jeans to their thinking. Try this.

Covid has taken its toll on our connections. It’s not about number, it’s about depth.

A quote

On our Children

And a woman who held a babe against her bosom said, Speak to us of Children.
And he said:
Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness; For even as He loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Khalil Gilbran. The Prophet. Thanks to Martin Knox for reminding me of it.

What I’ve learned

That it’s far better to talk to a few people in depth than to many in the shallows.

That scale is its own worst enemy. It can turn something remarkable, memorable and meaningful into a commodity very quickly.

What I’m up to.

What started with an experiment at the beginning on lockdown has become a couple of remarkably powerful small groups, so we’re inrested in extending what we’ve learned by catalyzing remarkable small groups of people (no more than eight) to share views, ideas, and information as they decide for themselves “what next”?

If you’d like to learn more, or start your own, contact us.

Catalysing the Future is set for Sept 30th. I’ll be there, More details next week.

Have a great week.

Published by Richard H Merrick

Complexity and volatility create enormous opportunities for those willing to go beyond the boundaries of "business as usual" to explore the edges of their business. I am an entrepreneur, a coach, a creative thinker, and above all, an explorer of possibility.

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