A very thoughtful post from Maria Popova at Brain Pickings. Quote:
“Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.”
And a terrific illustration, which is a venture between Maria and Lisa Congdon for their “Reconstructionists“ project.
For the past half-century, Joan Didion has been dissecting the complexities of cultural chaos with equal parts elegant anxiety, keen criticism, and moral imagination. From her 1968 anthology of essays, Slouching Towards Bethlehem , comes “On Self Respect” — a magnificent meditation on what it means to live well in one’s soul, touching on previously explored inadequate externalities like prestige, approval, and conventions of success.
“The dismal fact is that self-respect has nothing to do with the approval of others — who are, after all, deceived easily enough; has nothing to do with reputation, which, as Rhett Butler told Scarlett O’Hara, is something people with courage can do without.
To do without self-respect, on the other hand, is to be an unwilling audience of one to an interminable documentary that deals with one’s failings, both real and imagined, with fresh footage spliced in for every screening. There’s the glass you broke in anger, there’s the hurt on X’s face; watch now, this next scene, the night Y came back from Houston, see how you muff this one. To live without self-respect is to lie awake some night, beyond the reach of warm milk, the Phenobarbital, and the sleeping hand on the coverlet, counting up the sins of commissions and omission, the trusts betrayed, the promises subtly broken, the gifts irrevocably wasted through sloth or cowardice, or carelessness. However long we postpone it, we eventually lie down alone in that notoriously uncomfortable bed, the one we make ourselves. Whether or not we sleep in it depends, of course, on whether or not we respect ourselves.
Character — the willingness to accept responsibility for one’s own life — is the source from which self-respect springs.
Self-respect is something that our grandparents, whether or not they had it, knew all about. They had instilled in them, young, a certain discipline, the sense that one lives by doing things one does not particularly want to do, by putting fears and doubts to one side, by weighing immediate comforts against the possibility of larger, even intangible, comforts.
To have that sense of one’s intrinsic worth which constitutes self-respect is potentially to have everything: the ability to discriminate, to love and to remain indifferent. To lack it is to be locked within oneself, paradoxically incapable of either love or indifference.”
Read the rest of this fascinating post …
Another great post from Seth Godin
“Here are some laws rarely broken:
As an organization succeeds, it gets bigger.
As it gets bigger, the average amount of passion and initiative of the organization goes down (more people gets you closer to averge, which is another word for mediocre).
More people requires more formal communication, simple instructions to ensure consistent execution. It gets more and more difficult to say, “use your best judgment” and be able to count on the outcome.
Larger still means more bureaucracy, more people who manage and push for comformity, as opposed to do something new.
Success brings with it the fear of blowing it. With more to lose, there’s more pressure not to lose it.
Mix all these things together and you discover that going forward, each decision pushes the organization toward do-ability, reliability, risk-proofing and safety.
And, worst of all, like a game of telephone, there will be transcription errors, mistakes in interpreting instructions and general random noise. And most of the time, these mutations don’t make things wonderful, they lead to breakage.
Even really good people, really well-intentioned people, then, end up in organizations that plod toward mediocre, interrupted by random errors and dropped balls.
This can be fixed. It can be addressed, but only by a never-ending fight for greatness.
Greatness can’t be a policy, and it’s hard to delegate to bureaucrats. But yes, greatness is something that people can work for, create an insurgency around and once in a while, actually achieve. It’s a commitment, not an event.
It’s not easy, which is why it’s rare, but it’s worth it.
Given the current events in Ukraine, the way that news is reported (on all sides, sometimes opposing and sometimes oversimplified) is both interesting and unsettling.
De Botton takes a philosopher’s approach to the general issue of the consumerisation of the news – making a plea for the media to treat us all more as grown ups, and for us as consumers to be more objective and challenging. Great advice – but is it ever possible? Still, the video is well worth the time spent as he layers many challenging ideas on the issues into a short talk.
Alain de Botton asks: “What is it that we’re really looking for when we watch or read the news – and is it doing us any good?”
Over the last decade the amount of information available to us has exploded. Stories, reports, updates and media of all sorts come at us from every angle, every day.
And yet we still have a significant relationship with “The News” – seeking it out, and investing it with an importance and authority in our lives, despite the fact that it often leaves us feeling confused and powerless.
Influential public thinker Alain de Botton turns his philosophical lens to The News, examines the peculiar position it holds in our lives – and offers counsel on the precautions we should take before venturing anywhere near it and the “noise” it generates.
Here’s the original event
Mick explains what organisations need to understand to maximise big data and outlines its implications for customer relationships, internal organisational structures and leadership. He explores how big data can be harnessed for customer engagement and co-creation and looks at what kind of leadership is needed, combining human-based values with technology. Mick also considers the business risks associated with big data, how these may impact customer relationships and how they might be overcome.
Customers, Leadership & Big Data on SlideShare