“I’m just a soul whose intentions are good. Oh Lord, please don’t let me be misunderstood.”
As a precursor to Black History Month — and my intention to cover music of black origin in blog posts throughout October — many of us know this song was written in 1964 for iconic artist Nina Simone. Referred to as the High Priestess of Soul. (Also made famous in 1965 as a cover version by UK R&B group The Animals).
Written by Horace Ott, Bennie Benjamin and Sol Marcus (apparently because of a falling out between Ott and his girlfriend Gloria), it is…
I was thinking the other day about this really powerful word: Influence.
We can be educated, smart, super-professional and still be influenced by things that make us act in a way that is divisive, destructive and damaging. I’m sure there are many people out there who have identified the influences of people suffering from psychosis that causes them to harm and kill others.
And then anti-vaxxers, the State of Texas abortion rulings, Brexiteers and climate change deniers. Such people have been influenced in a particular way and there’s unlikely to be much alignment between them and me, ever, on anything.
If you weren’t aware, the year of the largest loss of working days through the withdrawal of labour (strikes) on record in the UK was 1926. Showing SERIOUS unrest between employer and employee (or as I like to call them organisations and people).
An extract from the Office of National Statistics shares this:
The highest annual total for working days lost on record was 162.2 million in 1926, the year of the general strike. Since 1926, there have been only three years when the annual total of working days lost has exceeded 20 million:
What do you stand for?
Who do you stand with?
Of course, I don’t mean the upright posture many of us take for granted but which is denied some with conditions and who have had accidents rendering them unable to stand upright at all or for long periods of time.
Stand in this context is metaphorical and means what you are unwaveringly committed to, your red line not to be crossed. The meaning, purpose and values you have in life that you will not compromise.
What we saw this weekend was a hate speech in public, which compared dedicated, exhausted…
Being transient has interested me more and more pre-and now mid-pandemic.
Passing quickly into and out of existence. A brief stay or that most elegant of words a sojourn.
In a life sense, passing through a place with only that brief stay explains how we are transient through many phases of our lives. In and out of education, circles of friends, romantic intertwinements and of course, where we might live and work. Some of us are super transient, others much less so.
Even within (life but particularly) work, we are transient in teams, nature of work, place, projects and so…
I recall, fondly, an MTV series of concerts, albums and a concept of unplugged.
A range of performances with largely acoustic — i.e. no electrically stimulated — instruments of recorded songs. My favourite will always be Maxwell: MTV Unplugged not least for his amazing rendition of “This Woman’s Work” (originally by Kate Bush).
When we say unplugged we often think of being off the grid; disconnected from the web; recharging.
Oh, there’s a lot of it out there.
In amongst amazing insight, ideas and interjections is a lot of guff.
I’m not casting judgemental aspersions on whether things are important to people or not. Honestly. But my word, there’s a guff machine out there of late.
Whether it’s the hybrid working option — and yes, remember, this is mainly the domain of office-based, knowledge workers. But this forty-odd percent of the workforce is still a sizeable chunk who’ve been in adapted, mid-pandemic working. It is though, often ignoring lots of people who have no choice in where they work. Be…
One of the most powerful aspects of being a cognitive animal is our imagination.
Da Vinci, Gaudi, Gorman, Christie, Edison, Mandela, Gandhi, the Bronte Sisters the list of those who have changed the world and shifted our perceptions through their imagination. Sure their actions were impactful and yet it started with their imagination. They imagined better, clearer, more compelling things through their work: Be that writing, inventions, designs, and political activism.
Now imagine your biggest dream, hope or aspiration.
Not the sort of dream that is a material gain (like a flash car, a beach-house, unbridled choice of lifestyle) but…
When did we get so wrapped up in ourselves or some form of hedonistic pursuit in life, that we lost the ability to be soulful?
And whilst this is a powerful word to me that I happen to love — and adore the sensation that it creates in my mind and spirit—the question that keeps popping up is:
Why aren’t we more bothered about being soulful?
OK, what do we MEAN by being soulful? We’ll get onto that but first a little story of how I discovered the word soulful could be used in the context of work.
Have you ever been so utterly absorbed in something that your attachment to the ‘thing’ you’re absorbed in, has a depth of feeling that you can’t explain? That your very spirit is gripped and is a willing captive of that mission?
We might overuse this word. To say you were absorbed in a book; an art gallery experience or a sporting event. A piece of music. …