Austin Kleon, who I follow with great interest, recently presented three different messages that correspond to three of his writings. You can click on the titles below to reach the corresponding texts. However, the examples and messages he chose made me think of some other things.
Kleon is right, changing our opinions can cause us to lose some of our friends. However to even arrive at this point, we first have to believe that opinions can change. Our family may have raised us to believe that a certain idea is wrong, some of our experiences may have strengthened this belief, and our close circle may have lived a life far away from this particular concept. Yet despite all of this, we could some day admit and accept that this idea makes us feel good. We don’t have to be who we were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. As long as the new version of us is personally beneficial.
Kleon has suggested utilizing a trial and error method to find our personal style, rather than chasing the right answers and why’s in order to develop our creativity. As for the method for artists and writers, Kleon has suggested not sharing every little thing.
Could we use these same rules in our daily lives and in our social media posts? What would it be like to keep some things to ourselves and not talk about every detail, divulge all information, and write every comment? Perhaps this would lessen our habit of comparing ourselves to the lives of people we follow and somewhat free us of the delusion of their perfect lives. Instead of just looking at others’ lives, we would have more time to think about our own ideal life. We would make different choices and gain different experiences.
When the day’s events and our emotions become too intense, using the constructive force of silence can be an ideal scenario. But aren’t those instances, when we have a hard time choosing this scenario, also those when our fears and doubts are most rampant?
Perhaps we should use simpler and more ordinary opportunities to practice our right to silence. For example becoming aware and preventing the urge to relay our own related personal story when someone tells us about an experience. Using our right to not make excessive comments throughout the day or not to participate. Perhaps this way we can make room for the voices within, which are waiting to be heard, instead of the noises outside.
Photograph: Vivian Maier