There's a lot of talk about addiction these days: to drugs, alcohol, sex, porn, coffee, food, cigarettes. You name it, if it makes you feel good, you're addicted.
But here's a couple of other addictive "circumstances" we don't talk about: certainty and knowing. If there are a couple of things we all crave for, it's assurance and understanding.
An article in this morning's local rag gives me a perfect opportunity to begin to share with you some of the insights I gained at the retreat I attended last week on polarity, run by the superb Sue Davidoff and Allan Kaplan of the Proteus Initiative in South Africa (I've mentioned Allan and Sue, and the amazing insights I've had through their teaching, in other posts).
The retreat looked at the impact of polarity in its many forms. More common examples of polarity are light and dark/shadow, finite and infinite, growth and decay. Some of the less obvious aspects we worked with were detail and form, extensiveness and intensiveness, and our impact on the world and others' impact on our world.
Technology being what it is today, I'm often amazed at how far we've come in some areas of design and functionality, yet some things have hardly moved at all or — even worse — gone backwards. Here are ten things we use everyday that, I think, could use a damn good rethink and upgrade to 21st century existence.
How long has petrol been around? Wikipedia says since the late 1800s though, in its more modern form, since the 1920s. Yet how long since the design of petrol pump nozzles was updated. They're heavy, clunky, they leak and they're unsightly. Surely by now they'd be a neat little fitting that clicks in, clicks out and starts with the touch of an electronic button. Even better they'd robotically connect, fill, disconnect and allow you to pay by mobile EFTPOS. Don't get me wrong, I'm not advocating for increased use of fossil fuels; I just want it to be easier to use until I can choose electricity — or solar power for that matter.
They're fine until they get to about a third full and then all hell breaks loose. More than one comes out, they fall to the bottom of the box, you put your hand in to pull them out again, you rip the box and then it's all over. All you'd need is a false bottom with a little spring to hold the tissues up at the top of the box until they're finished. Easy.
Hi, you lovely, unique person, you...
Diversityworks is entering an art and design project, starting in June, called the 100 Days Project. 100 Days was started by designer Emma Rogan, who spoke at TEDx Auckland last year, as a way to promote creativity.
The idea is that anyone is invited to register and then do something (anything!) creative...once a day, every day, for 100 days. At the end of the project they get together and exhibit the works for one night only.
This morning I read a blog post by Seth Godin. He's one of my favourite bloggers, mainly because he's brief and uses ideas from one area and applies them to others.
Here's what it said (I've taken the beginning, middle and end — you can read the whole post here).
If your writing feels like nothing but easily defensible aphorisms, as if you're saying things that are obvious... Consider the alternative. Say the opposite.... And then tell us why. We'd love to know how you're going to wriggle out of that. And along the way, if your story is a good one, we might even give it a try.
Saturday 20 April 2013 saw me wing my way to Havelock North via Napier to speak at the opening of the National Youth Drama School.
I haven't felt compelled to blog for a while so I thought I might try a new blogging format for a while and look back on the week in reflection and see what themes and insights emerge. I immediately feel slightly daunted by the task as I take a look at my calendar to jog my memory of the highlights.
The most significant change of the week is that, last Saturday, I became the official guardian of a long-time friend's 14-year old daughter. This is quite an adjustment in both my default living arrangement and "parental" status. I have lived alone for as many years as I can remember and, apart from a few dogs and cats, have never been responsible for any other being but me.
The circumstances are that my friend's daughter, whom I've known since she was born in her parents' living room on Waiheke Island, chose last year to leave Ohakune, where her family has lived for about seven years, in order to attend Western Springs College, which is five minutes walk from where I live. She boarded with others of her Mum's friends last year and visited me each Tuesday after school. This year her boarding situation changed, due to the friends' living arrangements changing, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for her to come and live with me.
"North Shore students have been banned from hugging during school hours because too many of them - mainly girls - were consistently arriving late to their classes," reported the NZ Herald this morning.
"Takapuna Normal Intermediate School deputy principal Sue Cattell said teachers last week suggested to students that they keep the hugs outside of the school day.
"'[The teachers' talk] was to remind them that this is like their place of work and they need to be back on time,'" said Cattell.
In my last blog post I critiqued capitalism, which I redefined. I alluded to an alternative. Here it is.
Imagine for a moment, if you will, a value-based community, which is created around the members’ desire to move from a capitalist economy to a value-based economy. The community has one key commonality: the willingness to believe we don't need money to live well. This community understands that there are certain types of intrinsic value that cannot be measured in monetary terms.
It offers an opportunity for all members to receive equal resource in exchange for an equitable expression of value. In this respect, the people and things often forgotten, neglected and left unattended in today’s world – because they cost too much – are remembered, considered important and attended to, simply because they can be.