It’s been a while since I’ve posted a “Creative Whack,” those wonderful and inspiring cards by Roger Von Oech.
This particular card, See the Obvious, reminds me that seeing the obvious is easier said than done, especially if you are unable to see the most obvious due to the little-known phenomenon, Facial Blindness.
This phenomenon was recently discussed on the television program, 60 Minutes. If you’ve never heard about Facial Blindness, you’re not alone. Unlike Color Blindness, Facial Blindness is a rare condition in which another person’s features are completely unrecognizable to the person who suffers with the condition. Imagine not being able to recognize your wife or husband, or your children and parents? Every one is a stranger. Everyone.
Seeing the 60 Minutes program got me thinking about what life would be like if EVERYONE had facial blindness? Can you imagine meeting a family member, or best friend for a lunch date and be unable to recognize who you’re supposed to meet?
Would the world be more peaceful if we were unable to recognize our enemies?
How would we know who to hate? Or, would we hate everyone?
I’d like to think that society would be much more pleasant because we’d look our “enemies” in the face and they’d be unrecognizable.
Now, wouldn’t that be something!
- TV alert: Prosopagnosia on 60 Minutes (teachinghighschoolpsychology.blogspot.de)
I’m not even keeping track of the news this week…. My brother gets the New York Times every day. I opened it only once this week.
I needed a break from all the bad news anyway.
Tonight we were watching old re-runs of 60 Minutes, and after about an hour, or so of watching, I got very depressed. It was painful to be reminded of how horrible the economy is; how gloomy the job-market has looked – though it’s getting better. But hearing all the sad stories of people without any money, no jobs, being foreclosed on….. Although it is always upsetting to hear these heartbreaking stories, it was especially very upsetting tonight.
Even though I am not worried about finding work, it’s very unnerving to hear the stories of people who have been laid-off for over a year and still have no work. And I actually RESIGNED from a job!
I thought for a moment tonight: Am I nuts? And I answered myself: Well yes, just a little!
Seriously, I’m not really nuts. And it was not nutty to resign from the horrible job I had! Truly, that job would send me to the grave earlier than necessary had I stayed one day longer. Either that, or I fought the system via the EEOC. I really didn’t want to do that.
I couldn’t pretend to be happy working there anymore. Just because it’s a job, is not enough for me. I can’t just have a “job” for the sake of a job. Why should I spend my working hours being miserable, working with people who are miserable – and with people who are just miserable period? It felt dishonest and it felt like I was purposely hurting myself.
A lot of people hate work. I want to love my work. I have always loved my work, and I still do. I was allowing the environment – the negative and demeaning environment – to cause me to hate my work, and to not want to give my best. I began to resent giving them my best work, when I realized that I knew I had to get out of there.
Too many people stay at a job because they think they have no choice but to stay. I understand that, but I cannot do it. It goes against my nature. And, if I don’t care about my well-being, who will?
So, that leads me to Creative Whack 13, Look to Nature. These Creative Whacks, you may recall, were
created by Roger von Oech, who has a few wonderful products that stimulate creative thinking. I love his Creative Whack Pack and plan to discuss all 64 of them here, eventually.
So, what does look to nature mean? To me, it means many things. Most importantly it means, not denying or defying your own nature and instincts.
“Let nature by your guide,” is the first sentence on the card. It’s taken me a while, but I understand now that I must follow my instincts. When I don’t follow my instincts I get into trouble.
It’s not easy to allow nature or intuition be the guide. I certainly don’t always make the right decisions or take the right road, that’s for sure. And, I can be impulsive. I always work on that.
My decision to leave a job that was making me so unhappy was something I had to do despite all the risks. I had to ask myself if I was being impulsive. I truly can say: No, I was not. I’ve spent the last four and a half years being miserable – too long.
What I need help with is strength. Staying strong. Staying the course without undermining my success with fear of the unknown; or maybe, fear of success?
In order for nature to help, it’s important to clarify what the problem is.
I do need to think with a bit more clarity about what problem I need to solve. I’m pretty sure it’s going to be strength to get me to my next job – my next big thing.
The roots of trees say strength to me. I love trees, especially the big, old ones
The root systems that support the great Cypress trees and support all the things that live within the branches of the tree: The birds. The bird nests. The leaves. The squirrels that make the tree home. The animals and the insects that trust the tree. That is a good model for me.
Now, there’s something I need…..
I love to dream. I wish I could remember every detail, but I never can.
One of the best and most vivid of my dreams happened after a dear friend died suddenly. She was my boss when I worked at American Express. We had grown very close and I loved her. I was devastated when she died and had a difficult time overcoming the anger I felt that she was gone. She had three young children, too. That was the worst part…..
One night, after she’d been gone nearly three months, she came to visit me in a dream. It was not like my normal dreams, which are usually really colorful and wild. This dream was focused -very sedated, or maybe soft is a better word to describe how it felt.
The interesting thing about this dream? There were two me’s. There was the me sleeping and laying there, doing the dreaming. Then, there was the me who talked to Jean while my sleeping self laid there. I knew I was dreaming that I was looking down at myself dreaming…. but still, it was more real than a dream
It was like a dream within a dream within a dream that was real. Does that make sense?
Hah! Probably not!
Well, my dreaming self (while I knew the me looking down at myself dreaming was also dreaming, it was so real at the time and in retrospect, too.
I remember asking if she visited her kids because they missed her so much.
She told me they were doing fine. She said she worried about me – needed me to stop crying. She wanted to tell me she was happy and I needed to stop worrying and start living. That was the essence of the message.
I can’t sit here and say, with 100 percent certainty that it was an out-of-body experience, or anything like that. But somehow, I know that is what it was. I can’t say with certainty, but I feel certain about it. One thing I am certain about, I felt better from then on….
In another dream, I heard the name Susan B. Anthony and shown a coin of some kind that her profile was on. I didn’t know what it meant, but it was vivid.
I was in my twenties and had never heard the name Susan B. Anthony. And I didn’t know that, in about a six months later, her picture would be on the new one dollar coin. Then, when it was announced in the news and in the paper, that she would be the first woman to be honored on a coin, and I saw her picture and the picture of the coin, I was shocked. It was exactly what I’d seen in my dream!
I didn’t tell anyone for years about it because I thought no one would believe me, and why in the world would I be dreaming of a woman from the 1800, and why would I see the coin?
I didn’t second-guess myself about what I saw, I knew what I’d seen. But I didn’t know WHY I’d seen it! I still don’t know why. It seemed very strange to me and I told no one about it until years later.
It was a strange premonition!
Anyway, I’m still listening and dreaming with my eyes wide open – now more than ever.
I have a total of 64 more Creative Whacks to post. At this rate, it will be 2064 until I finish!
So, here’s another one. It’s a good one, too.
Creative Whack number 9 is: drop an assumption.
My assumptions drive me crazy and usually involve me second-guessing myself. It has a lot to do with self-confidence. I don’t have issues with those big assumptions that result in generalizations. Fortunately I am open-minded enough to not allow that to happen.
I make stupid assumptions that have to do (usually) with relationships. When I was younger it was a big struggle. I had this inner dialog going on that was a marathon of back and forth quarreling with myself. It would go something like this:
Positive realization: I haven’t talked to John in so long. I should call him.
Negative assumption: Well, he hasn’t called me. What if he’s too busy to talk to me? Or maybe he really would rather not talk to me? I’d be embarrassed if I disturbed him. Maybe he’d think I’m needy? Or, maybe he has a girlfriend he didn’t tell me about and maybe he thinks I’m trying to come-on to him? That would really be embarrassing.
Positive realization: No no no no no Andrea! That’s crazy.
Negative assumption: We had a nice date, but what if he doesn’t think of me as a possible girlfriend? He’s a great guy, too. He wouldn’t be interested in me. And, who knows if I’m really interested in him? Was he being himself on our date? Was he being distant? What if we get serious? I couldn’t take it if he dropped me. Maybe he’s trying to tell me something by his silence and not calling? Should I wait until he calls me?
Positive realization: Oh God, you dumb-ass, Andrea! Call him! Give him a call – if he’s busy he’ll tell you he is and then you can decide on a time to get together, or a time to talk on the phone!
Negative assumption: It would be easier to leave him a voice mail. Shit! I wish I could just text him, that’s so much easier than talking in situations like this! Maybe I could call him, and if he answers I could pretend that I dialed him by mistake – tell him I was really calling Jane and got his number mixed up, but it’s nice to talk to him! And, if he doesn’t answer, I could leave a message…..
And on and on and on… I would go back and forth.
I still quarrel with myself, but not nearly as badly as I used to. Thankfully.
Assumptions are terribly limiting. The best thing we can do is test the validity of every assumption we make. I try to.
Would the photo below qualify as an assumption?
Maybe. Maybe not. I think it’s close enough.
Just a reminder that the brilliant Creative Whack cards are by Roger von Oech. The Creative Whack Pack is a 64 card deck of inspirational ways to encourage creative thinking.
I think this Creative Whack, by Roger von Oech, works well as today’s post, and here’s why: I’d been thinking about changing the look and feel of my bl;og (yes, again!), but I had to pay for this blog theme, and I wasn’t sure I wanted to do that. But I really liked it. So, after going back and forth for about two weeks, and because life is good to me, I changed my mind!
So, here it is, my new blog site! Tah Daaaaah!
I’m also working on a website, too, but that won’t be finished for a while. I’m developing the site it in Joomla! which is the free, open-source software for building websites. It’s not too difficult, but it’s very time intensive. And, time and patience are exactly what it’s going to take me to build it.
Art and life are always changing. So should ideas and viewpoints. I don’t think it’s wise to be stuck in a rut – immoveable to change. Whether it’s views or beliefs, when the mind is open to new possibilities, it’s possible to change old belief systems.
For instance, the people who talk about “Obama Care” like it was a threat, usually have no idea what it even means!
When people say they don’t want Obama Care they are mouthing what Republican politicians want them to say – blindly and with distaste.
The truth, I believe, is that Republican politicians came up with the phrase “Obama Care” because they are on the side of insurance and drug companies who could lose some money as a result of the plan.
But, honestly…. The percentage of Americans who snarl about Obama Care are those who haven’t got a clue what it’s about!
It’s so easy to do a few minutes of homework on a topic before speaking about it. Think of all the millions of American children and mothers and fathers without any healthcare. That’s what I care about, and that’s one reason why I believe in helping people, not insurance companies. And, it’s not “socialized” medicine.
Many people I know are like me, we have health insurance through work which means any changes will not impact us. However, I wish people would do a bit of research on the topic before stepping on the idea.
The lesser than two evils
This Creative Whack is bizarre! Imagine coming up with those two solutions? One solution is certainly better than the other (putting food in the coffin versus a stake through the heart), but food in a coffin is obviously a wacko idea, too.
I know it happens when there is a critical decision to make about something important, we are sometimes faced with the lessor of two evils. I think this Creative Whack is warning us that it’s easy to settle for a bad idea, especially if it’s easy. It’s important to look at the outcome and the impact of decisions large and small because life is much too short.
It seems like every day I hear ignorant comments about Islam. It’s not a triangle: Muslim/Islam/Terrorism. They do not go hand in hand. It’s simply not true.
It’s terrible to put people into a box based upon faith. To think that Terrorism has anything at all to do with Islam, has no basis in truth. Heck, there are Christian serial murderers, though we don’t call them Terrorists, that’s what they are. It should go without saying that all the religions have their share of murderers and rapists – bad American people acting like terrorists. There is no reason in the world to fear Muslim people in this country. None!
It’s really about fear and fear closes so many doors; stops many opportunities for further research; kills creativity, too.
FDR’s words, “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” should continue to ring a bell between all our collective ears.
Change is good.
Yes, change is good, but I think I’ll keep this blog design for a while!