"You're dating a Republican?" That was more of an exclamation point than a question mark at the end of the sentence. I was meeting at Salt Lake Roasting Company with an old friend Friday.
I hadn't been back to my own stomping grounds, Salt Lake City, in about a year and a half. I'd forgotten how much its counterculture stuck together in solidarity.
Yes, I even have Republican friends that live in Berkeley and wouldn't miss Burning Man for the world. Oxymoron?
Maybe our associative barriers are just lower. As I noted in Part 1 of The Origin of Ideas, I'm answering the question that Frans Johansson posed: What enables one to so freely connect disparate concepts, ideas, ingredients, and styles?
Anyone that votes a straight party ticket all their life is not thinking for themselves. It seems awfully convenient to go on auto-pilot and refer to our stale, set-in-concrete beliefs, views, and opinions. But it's often at the expense of creativity, intimacy, understanding, vitality, and growth.
Ideas are everywhere. But most of us have walled off gardens in our minds and will only let the "right" ideas filter through. Talk about energy drain...not to mention limiting.
It's comforting to be reminded that you're right. It's good for your ego to discover that you already know everything that's important so you can go back to doing what you were doing yesterday. - Seth Godin
If you've been reading my blog for a while most of you think you have me pegged. But you probably don't. My aim is to be unpeggable, completely open-minded, and continuously pushing my edges. And to abolish the biggest associative barrier of all: my ego (brick by brick if need be).
Whenever I am confronted by people or books or blogs or anything that irritates, repels or even downright angers me - I explore further - rather than shut it down in my mind. I realize these things often signal my own shadow or my projections and I want to irradicate all my blind spots.
So when Tom Peters said he hated Hardball, I had to check it out (and I don't see the fuss). And when I noticed my own revolted reaction to the new book, Sun Tzu Was A Sissy by Stanley Bing, I realized I would have to read it and understand WHY. I've gone on a Hardball Feast (diets are tired) feeding on all things business-is-war, business-is-tough of late. Another book (judging book by its cover and title) that repelled me was Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. On the strong recommendation of several business owners, I eventually demured and read the entire series. It's been critical in shaping a lot of my views on entrepreneurship.
I would have been bereft of some of my most illuminating and idea-generating experiences if I avoided confronting my distastes - and my own shadow. And I wouldn't have gone out with my then-boyfriend Rich in 1987 either. We met at work. He was the one that always asked the questions everyone else was too terrified to bring up. I hated his audacity. Couldn't stand him. Until I got to know him one-on-one in a four-person project. I learned a lot about taking yourself lightly, being uninhibited and having a blast, and not caring one iota about 'what other people think' from him. It's only taken me 18 years to let the lessons sink in.
if you've been reading hugh's blog long enough you know that the latest cartoons are a return to form, not a new direction. hugh's audience is not only divided, but polarized. some of us love the dark comedy and get bored and drift away with the branding/marketing stuff. but we pop up again when he brings it back. a psychology thesis could be written about how we all reveal ourselves based on which posts we choose to comment on.
Cynthia's right of course. Not everyone reads to push their edges. But if you care about creativity and innovation and invention - you must.
I found Hugh's blog via Ben Hammersley's blog a while back. I didn't like it at first. But I recognized someone that pushed edges - albeit in a different way - when I saw one. Hugh's blog is on my daily fix tour (I can't imagine a day without it) in the blogosphere. Don't back away when someone or something pushes your buttons. It's an opportunity to learn - including more about yourself.
This exchange is typical of any of us when our minds are fixed:
He [president George Bush] bounded over and grabbed the cheeks of his face, one in each hand, and squeezed. ''Jim, how ya doin', how ya doin'!'' he exclaimed. Wallis was taken aback. Bush excitedly said that his massage therapist had given him Wallis's book, ''Faith Works.'' His joy at seeing Wallis, as Wallis and others remember it, was palpable -- a president, wrestling with faith and its role at a time of peril, seeing that rare bird: an independent counselor. [Discussion ensues where Mr. Wallis doesn't agree completely with Mr. Bush...more here.] Bush looked quizzically at the minister, Wallis recalls. They never spoke again after that.
Very Sad. A tremendous opportunity for dialogue and connection on both sides thwarted. Jim Wallis continues:
‘‘Real faith, you see, leads us to deeper reflection and not — not ever — to the thing we as humans so very much want.’’
And what is that?
Don't settle for the ego's easy certainty in the place of a curious, inquisitive, and open mind. I read a profile in City Weekly about Utah gubernatorial candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. Yes, he's a Republican. But we're so quick with labels that we miss the nuances and complexity of people, issues, and the world. Mr. Huntsman also played in a rock band, speaks Mandarin Chinese (an Asian studies graduate and ambassador to Singapore), advocated for Michael Moore's recent appearance at Utah Valley State College (a big controversy in Utah), and agreed to meet the reporters covering this story at a bar named Burt's Tiki Lounge (very atypical in Utah politics). Even a card-carrying member of the Democratic party ought to be intrigued enough to listen. (The Democratic candidate didn't respond to a request for an interview.)
You won't see my presidential endorsement here. This is not a political message. Being inquisitive, curious and free to think for yourself is the core of my message. As to my Republican boyfriend? I'm sure inquiring minds want to know... Let's just say that he's not voting a straight party ticket this November 2nd.