#knowing (The Reprise)
I’ve used this title before here but this is a different take or maybe part 2.
I’ve tried writing stuff for a few weeks now. I’ve had the odd half-blog drafted and left them at unpublished (wasn’t sure about them) and they were about:
- jargon and how we’re all jumping on the bandwagon of criticising jargon when in reality, the wonder that is language has many adaptations, modernisms and shorthand codes. We’ve had blogs on playing Bullshit Bingo (which in itself, is a jargonistic phrase — oh the irony) and people tearing down new things just because they take offence at a word that gets used a lot.
- our inability to act and change things that are ‘wrong’ but still find the time to bemoan, post and sneer at people doing the wrong.
- swiping — or judging and having a dig at people because they haven’t acted in a way you’d expect them to or that you have. Projecting your own sense of importance onto them and expecting them to somehow magic up calming words; challenges or shows of support. We all take our own counsel on what we speak up about. No-one else can judge you simply because you don’t do your thinking out loud. I’m supposedly an extrovert but at times, and often actually, am deeply introverted and introspective. I don’t do all my thinking out loud if I’m not comfortable with it.
- punctuation — not the grammar sort but how with all the talk of the frustrating monotony of lockdown, we seem helpless to do anything but stare into a screen all day and decry Zoom fatigue; yet don’t seem to take the opportunity to build in punctuations and break that constant hum of call on call. We don’t have to get hijacked by our schedules and we can all play a part in making calls and meetings more productive, useful and stimulating. I had 3 of the most stimulating moments in my week back-to-back because I refused to believe they were second best to being in person. They were additional, connected, loving exchanges about work stuff.
Now that I’ve covered those I want to talk about knowing.
Knowing stuff is really valuable. I have been slagged off (without being named) for describing myself as a ‘tenacious reader’. Screw that. I’m going to read and learn my way into a state of knowing that’s not to commercialise me and what I do, or weaponise what I know, but to help people. Plus I just love the acquisition of ‘stuff’. I’m a collector of insight and an unstoppable learner.
Knowing how to be with people is wonderful. I ran 4 events this week. I was there to share and facilitate. They were ALL very successful but not because of me, but because all of the people there were knowing how to be with each other. Building on other’s ideas; setting challenging and bold visions that would inspire the people there and allowing for maximum participation from all concerned.
Knowing about yourself is incredible and not that easy. Self-worth, appreciating your shortcomings and reliable attributes. Thinking deeply about your motivations and intentions. It’s tough for some to be confident about themselves and there’s a constant challenge in being bold and brave and humble and gentle.
And finally, knowing people that are different to you and what might bring you together for the greater good of people you’ll never know but want to help them have a fair crack at life.
I could shout out many names this week of ‘knowing’ people. Not show-offs; or dominating personalities;
- Knowing people who are adept at retaining and sharing contextually relevant and inspiring insight.
- Knowing people who seem to form the right words not just once or twice in your relationship with them, but in pretty much every sentence they share with you.
- Knowing people who sense what is the right gesture or phrase to use when you’re feeling delicate, unsure, a little dogmatic even.
I’m blessed because I have SO many knowing people around me. I could brag and say it’s tactical and useful. It’s not though. It’s from a place of knowing what love and appreciation are of other people and I just love and appreciate a lot of people who also happen to be knowing people.
So, I guess this blog is aimed at helping people about their state of knowing.
- Knowing that you’re always going to be short on lived experiences and who can help you better understand the lives of those who are very different to you in any way imaginable. Race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, heritage, ability, socio-economic background, education and more. Enrich yourself with others who have a knowing of things you’ll never likely experience.
- Knowing what you stand for in life and in your work and pursuits. I’m not saying you have to have some grandiose mission or purpose statement for yourself, but what you want to see in the world; what matters most, and what’s at stake that you want to do something about.
- Knowing what you know and knowing you want more. A thirst for knowledge I suppose. I cannot comprehend those people who find no time to learn. Whether through reading, or study programmes, or consuming content online, or real-life experiences — whatever it may be. The thought of someone thinking they know all they need in life is abhorrent to me. I love feeling like I’m a loving idiot.
- Knowing you don’t have to be all that everyone thinks you should be. I’ve had people come into my life, get quite close in, then bounce off in some form of recoil. I don’t believe I’ve done anything harmful or inconsistent or changed. I guess we just have different ‘vibrations’ and don’t chime well with each other. Those who you do chime with you stick with you — and in my case most certainly are—through forms of radical acceptance and unconditional regard. So, those of you who’ve dropped me like a stone, I hope you’re happy with your commitment and decisions about me and in all sincerity, thank you for allowing me more room for those I truly belong with.
- Knowing that love is all that matters. From love comes kindness, openness, and just about any positive outcome you can think of. I’m learning about Leading with Love with the amazing Helena Clayton. I’m alternating being on the course because one of TeamPTHR is on it — Kirsten — and as she’s a working Mum, so it’s not always easy to commit to every session. So I’m Kirsten’s proxy learner. Learning in pairs has already given us a stronger bond and it’s a brilliant experience so far. We’re learning about love because we both have a lot of love for what we do in our work.
In a world of uncertainty, knowing is not easy to find or be. Yet we ALL have a strong sense of knowing — or at least a chance to develop a stronger sense of knowing.
Who we are, what we’re here for, who matters, what matters, how we can effect change, why some stuff is harder, what gives us our kicks in life and how we can ultimately show a life well-lived, well-loved, and well-crafted.
The quest for knowing is my quest. It’s probably all of our quests. If only some of us knew that knowing is what we’re really all about…