You know, lately I find myself repeating, “I don’t understand…” to myself countless times during the day and seemingly more than I remember doing so before!
What I am finding lately, is that the general reaction to that statement, should I ever dare to utter it out loud that is, is one of fear and defence in the person that I am saying it to, or if is an idea or concept they are trying to explain that I don’t understand. I really think that, we, as a society have changed the meaning of ‘I don’t understand’ from identifying that there is a knowledge gap to ‘That is stupid and makes no sense‘. It’s really scary
I believe it is because in a world where the opinion is supreme, the ‘clap-back’ is King and we should all be able to shut down, express or even antagonise in 140 characters or less.
It’s such a good idea, to seek to understand instead of focusing on the desire to be heard and seen above the hustle and bustle of daily life. I really don’t want to be THAT guy, you know the one that announces the renouncing of social media channels (I actually love social media) but the truth is that recently I find myself shying away from it all.
I have an acquaintance, he is actually a friend of Jose’s, and he is a really smart and very likeable guy…. at one point I thought that we might actually become friends. Part of this chaps charm is that he’s a bit ‘odd’; like me he doesn’t quite see the world in the way that most others do, a bit off-beat and quirky – basically everything I admire in a human!
What has happened, though, is that he has worked out that this natural oddity ‘works’ for him so he has fallen victim to the old adage of “If a little is good, more must be better” way of life. As a result his social media has become and onslaught of contrived controversy and he has undermined everything that was genuine about himself, it’s became so cringeworthy that eventually I had no hide posts and notifications from him because it was all just too painful to watch happen.
By no means at all am I a rule follower, and I am certainly no stranger to controversy but to see a genuinely quirky guy sell out like that really freaked me out. For what, some Instagram people that are abstract concepts of ‘friends’ in the best case.
When did we stop wanting to absorb more knowledge and instead assassinate one another with memes?
As I have stated in my other post, I appreciate irreverence but actually what I see the disconnect here as is that some people seem to think that irreverence means to completely kick to the curb respect for intellect, knowledge and history (I know all very boring words and not one’s we’d hear a Kardashian say). The truth is that actually, in order to be truly irreverent one has to understand the reference points enough to be able to make a valid, respectful social statement.
A perfect example example of this is Adore Delano of RuPauls Drag Race Season 6. Adore is like nothing that has ever been seen before in that world, she is irreverent of the traditional, and actually even the alternative forms of the world in which she chooses to live – at no point has she ever said that everyone needs to be like her (in fact something tells me that if that did happen, she’d find a new path). I think it’s powerful that Adore has been so different with her Riot Girl of the 90’s movement Vs the Pageant Girl or Comedy Queen looks that are actually a part of our mainstream language now.
Another interesting fact here is that Adore Delano was the first Drag Race Contestant to hit 1 million followers on Instagram – and at no point has she slammed anyone else, made anyone feel like shit and not truly been herself. The real lesson here is authenticity.
In my day job I am surrounded by ego. I work in sales so it is kind of a given, and with each passing day I find myself more and more out of sync. Is it because I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t understand? Is it because I’m actually training myself to move away from ego and more to a place of understanding?
I took the decision based on some recent events, I talked about them in my recent blog posting about feedback and projection to be more forgiving, to myself. I am training myself to change that ‘I don’t understand’ into a ‘What am I missing?’ because I feel my own perceived lack of understanding is making me feel lesser, that is not okay with me.
This is certainly going to raise some eyebrows at work…