Sunday Musings – By Changing Ourselves We Can Change the World…

It has been a really nutty week.  The world seems to be spiraling out of control with so many matters of importance seemingly shunted aside by leaders who should know better.


Pearls Before Swine (12 July 14)

I totally get why Rat did that.

That “It is what it is” phrase represents a fork in the road where a decision needs to be made.  Do you shrug your shoulders, accept and then retreat into a world of nothingness (or nothing worthwhile), in a sort of resigned state of mind?  Or, do you take that phrase and use it as a catalyst to find where you can make a difference — and think about how you can add value and meaning to your life?

“We’re not on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves. But in doing that you save the world. The influence of a vital person vitalizes.”
― Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell had the right idea.  The “Hero’s Journey” is about finding that ember within ourselves that we can stoke until we have a full-on flame that burns bright– its heat and light noticeable by others who may be inspired to find their own ember to stoke.

So let’s shift gears slightly.

There was a very interesting story in The San Francisco Chronicle about how some businesses are establishing “artists-in-residence” programs.

Notable: It stated that businesses and civic groups are discovering that artists create a buzz and push company creativity.

Several  examples were given. In one, Autodesk opened up its workspace and gave 3-D printer access to a writer interested in recycling food waste who was planning on making kitchen tiles out of oyster shells.

Autodesk's Pier 9 Workshop

Autodesk’s Pier 9 Workshop

In another, Paolo Salvagione, a resident artist at Autodesk on Pier 9 in San Francisco is building a “string fountain” that instead of water has synchronized jets of string powered by a motor. For several months, he was given unlimited access to Autodesk’s woodshop, metal shop, commercial test kitchen, digital fabrication lab and army of high-powered 3-D printers.

“Artists are the best beta testers, because they don’t think like engineers,” said Paolo Salvagione

That’s one value-add for Autodesk.  Since the residency program started on the pier in 2013, more than 40 artists have worked at Autodesk, and uploaded DIY guides to their projects on Autodesk’s Instructables website.

>> If you want to read more, check out these articles:  Autodesk Acquires Instructables and Instructables Joins Autodesk.


The article also talked about Amtrak’s rolling artist-in-residence program which had  more than 16,000 applications for 24 spots.


Residency on Rails…

Note: Wire had a nice write-up which you can find here.

Notable quotable:

“We are not asking for anything specific from our residents, we are just hopeful they will share their experiences with their networks,” said Amtrak’s social media director Julia Quinn, who helped create the program after writers asked for it.


Cool right?

Now step back and think about it.  These businesses could have just kept their head down and focused on just what they do. But instead, they became the ones who opened doors in support of those who are on their own journey.

Check out this exchange between Bill Moyers and Joseph Campbell from The Power of Myth series.

Moyers:  In this sense, unlike heroes such as Prometheus or Jesus, we’re not going on our journey to save the world but to save ourselves.

Campbell:  But in doing that, you save the world.  The influence of a vital person vitalizes, there’s not doubt about it.  The world without spirit is a wasteland.  People have the notion of saving the world by shifting things around, changing the rules, and who’s on top, and so fort.  No, no!  Any world is a valid world if it’s alive.  The thing to do is to bring life to it, and the only way to do that is to find in your own case where the life is and become alive yourself.


So it seems to me that we owe ourselves some time to pursue our own journey and, when the opportunity presents itself, help others with theirs.  It could be a shared kitchen or workshop.  Or, even actively listening to someone’s ideas — participating in their joy.

That’s how we can do what Dossie talks about with her Idea, Energy & Power concept.


Pencils down.  End of today’s musings.  Please comment away.  Curious to hear your thoughts.


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