I said the following in response to two friends who were bickering about something stupid and one of them immediately responded,
"Isn’t it sad that we associate marriage with bickering?"
I’m not sure how I feel about that just yet. I definitely see his point, but there’s also strength in a relationship that isn’t stressed by bickering and there’s value in being able to be brazenly honest. I don’t think it’s as simple as he’s making it out to be.
But last night another friend did say that “life is a power struggle and you never want to show someone that they have all the power.”
In the heat of the moment, I agreed. But after thinking about it, this is actually one of the points I mentioned in a previous post:
We should stop viewing interactions as a vie for power, because it’s a mindset that deals pain as an alternative to being hurt. It causes a depression in the social space - pushing someone down as opposed to lifting someone up, which I’ll call an impression - and places unnecessary pressure on those nearby.
Scott Simpson, of the blog YourMonkeyCalled.com, recently wrote a piece titled “You Are Boring.” In it, he recalls every conversation he’s ever heard between two people:
Stranger #1: Thing about my life. Stranger #2: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said. Stranger #1: Thing about my life that is somewhat related to what you just said. Stranger#2: Thing about my life…
Why are we only interested in ourselves? And not in a good way where we’re introspective, but in a puffed up way where we want to pat ourselves on the back and have others give us kudos for the insignificant things in our lives.
Why don’t we ask more questions? Be more inquisitive? Find out the why and how of things instead of the what? Why not lift others up instead of putting them down?
I think this approach can also apply to the entrepreneurial landscape. I’ve recently been reading the book Blue Ocean Strategy. It talks about the diminishing returns of fighting in established markets (red oceans, made bloody by excessive competition) and encourages entrepreneurs to create new markets (blue oceans, free of limitations).
When companies fight ignorantly over existing markets, they make miniscule changes, add insignificant benefits to the consumer, and take on heavy burdens of extra cost. PT Barnum & Bailey and Wringling Brothers died because they focused on featuring stars (which no one cared about), marketed based on a 3-ring venue (which increased the number of performers needed with other cost implications), and their high concession costs discouraged audiences from making purchases and made them feel taken advantage of. Whereas Cirque du Soleil offered new benefits such as a story line, intellectual richness, artistic music and dance, and multiple productions. Apple under Steve Jobs was constantly innovating the consumer space. Steve thought intensely about how people interacted with electronics and always looked to improve that, and because he built products that enhanced people’s lives rather than competing for market space, he ended up building a beautiful company that is still loved by billions of people.
There’s a vast difference between helping someone because you want power vs helping someone and inadvertently receiving respect. The ends don’t justify the means. Coincidentally I also touched on this point in a previous post:
Be with me,
not because I am kind
but because the taste of kindness is sweeter when we are entangled.
Be with me,
not because I am pleasant
but because all pleasantries aside, we are known by each other.
Be with me,
not because I amuse
but because things are less amusing when we are apart.
Be with me,
not because I am bold
but because the boldness of your character has found its match in mine.
This is a call for mercy
so that my poor heart can rest in peace,
rest in a peace that excludes death.
For we are not a stillness
But a wave cresting,
gaining momentum with every forward movement.
Be with me
not because you are able
but because you are unable
“And in the big cities, protestors blocked the roads like
a blocked heart, whose master will die. And the dead were already
hung out like fruit, for eternal ripening within
the history of the world. They searched for the child; and found
pairs of lovers, hidden; found ancient urns;
found everything that sought not to be revealed. For love
was too short and didn’t cover them all, like a too-short
blanket. A head or two feet stuck out in the wind
when the cold night came. Or they found a short-cut of sharp
brief pain instead of the long, oblivion-causing
streets of joy and of satiation. And at night
the names of the world, of foreign cities and dark
lakes and peoples long vanished.”
Amazing cover of Ed Sheeran’s The A Team by Priska.
Chilling lyrics are matched with a powerful yet seasoned voice; Priska adds depth to Ed Sheeran’s The A Team. Priska’s voice swells up, fills the verses and carries over into the 1st half of the hook, evoking an image of a strong girl in desperate times though we feel at least there’s hope for her - that she could pull herself out of her struggle.
And then all at once, the bottom drops out from beneath our feet and we’re left standing on air, only hearing just the wispy, thin remnants pleading “slowly sinking wasting; crumbling like pastries. And they scream the worst things in life come free to us…”
Hauntingly perfect musicality. I can’t wait to hear more from her.
“Marina Abramovic and Ulay started an intense love story in the 70s, performing art out of the van they lived in. When they felt the relationship had run its course, they decided to walk the Great Wall of China, each from one end, meeting for one last big hug in the middle and never seeing each other again. at her 2010 MoMa retrospective Marina performed ‘The Artist Is Present’ as part of the show, a minute of silence with each stranger who sat in front of her. Ulay arrived without her knowing it and this is what happened.”
“En los años 70, Marina Abramovic mantuvo una intensa historia de amor con Ulay. Pasaron 5 años viviendo en una furgoneta realizando toda clase de performances. En 1988, cuando su relación ya no daba para más, decidieron recorrer la Gran Muralla China, empezando cada uno de un lado, para encontrarse en el medio, abrazarse y no volver a verse nunca más. En 2010 el MoMa de Nueva York dedicó una retrospectiva a su obra. Dentro de la misma, Marina compartía un minuto en silencio con cada extraño que se sentaba frente a ella. Ulay llegó sin que ella lo supiera, y esto fue lo que pasó”
What a beautiful story. A love that spans space and time.