Fair is useless, why not

“Fair” is a useless concept and it is an unhelpful narrative. What is fair is is hugely at variance from 100 years ago.

Our society tolerates gross unfairness every day. It tolerates misogyny, racism and the careless indifference to those born without privilege.

We have to remember that change is not just done by shouting “unfair”. It is a hard and slow work of understanding, trust and commitment.

Fair has come a long way and it is made possible by people no smarter than you. We share stories of a different future, of how things could be better, one person at a time. We show up.

Fair is not a complaint. Fair is work. Fair because it is better.

Thank you Daryl Davis for showing me a different way.

Your phone is not the enemy, you are

Funny how the phone was never an enemy before, but it is now. Today, the phone has become more interesting than reality. We are constantly being distracted by it. And we can’t put it down.

Too often, we bought the belief that there’s some sort of evilness in technology. We blame the phone.

Yet, we also realise that we have the power to delete any apps on our phones. There are tools like the Pomodoro technique, freedom app and the light phone.

As we transit from the industrial (do what you are told) age, perhaps the real problem is not your phone. It is choices. Each of us gets the same amount of attention to spend each day. It’s a competitive advantage to figure out how to focus it to get something done.

Instead of being entertain by the phone, what do you choose to do instead?

Calling is getting you stuck

Nobody has a calling. You pick along the way. You pick it because it comes with prizes, a way of connecting with the world.

The bad news is there is an unlimited amount of great paths. And we get stuck.

The good news is that you don’t have to own it because no one is keeping track in a book. No one is up there saying you need to keep at it.

Begin. The first choice, any choice. Ask a friend to pick. Make the smallest possible contribution.

There are hairdressers and barbers who are as effective as a therapist in changing someone’s else life. You don’t need a degree.

You can simply begin changing people’s lives. The warper. The warper doesn’t matter so much.

A calling is simply an act you call because of all the gift it provides, looking backwards. To find a calling, simply begin.

Active vs passive voice

There is an old English rule that states active voice is better than passive voice. Well, that rule is wrong – and this is an article of why following rules are not always a good idea.

Simply rephrase.

“Teacher Amy says that active voice is always better than passive voice. Well, she is wrong – and this is the article why listening to rules are not always a good idea.”

Written in an active voice, we bring up an unnecessary character, teacher Amy who – might have good intentions – but forgets to explain why we should follow such a rule.

Active voice
Mary will eat the pizza, beware.
I shall always remember my first visit to Boston.
The reason he left college was that his health became impaired.
It was not long before she was sorry that she had said what she had.

Passive voice
The pizza will be eaten by Mary, beware.
My first visit to Boston will always be remembered.
Failing health urged him to leave college.
She soon felt sorry for her words.

An active voice is when the actor (subject) is in front of the action (verb) and the thing/person (object) that’s receiving the action. And that is how our brain understands cause and effect, not effect and cause. Hence, making it easier for you, the reader to understand.

An active voice also makes the sentence shorter and it usually becomes stronger. Brevity becomes a by-product of strength, making the sentence direct, bold and concise.

But at times, telling the truth is dangerous. So, we might want to hide the subject. Instead of telling your boss “you did not send me the cheque”, we might want to say “my cheque did not arrive”.

Active voice is powerful. Use it cautiously and with awareness. Lesson over.

The value of “values”

The funny thing about values is that no teenager ever voluntarily goes searching for it. Yet as adults, that’s what causing most of our inner turmoil.

The story is common. We experience a mini “freak out” or “quarter-life crisis”, decide to take a week or ten days (or ten months) and cut all contact with the outside world, run to some remote part of the globe, and proceed to “find ourselves.”

At the core of it, our desires are in conflict. We find ourselves in situations where we don’t know how to get out. The voices in our heads are causing tremendous pressure and stress.

We want to save the world, but we are just swiping through social media all day long. We want a 6 packs abs but we also want to chuck down lots of carbs. We want to live in the moment and forget our worries yet we have bills to pay. We care about climate change but we can’t give up modern-day transportation.

We are stuck. Wishing we could change but not changing. Wishing we could accept but not accepting. Wishing we could ignore but not ignoring.

In the world of too many options, “values” become the compass guiding our actions. The easy part is unplugging and get away to a remote island. The hard part is to sit in silence, examine our inner conflicts, make sense of it, walk away from destructive ones and come out with an integrated set of rules to live our lives.

The value of “values” does not come from circling uplifting words from pages of adjectives. Consider what your “values” are for and unplug accordingly.

1 2 3 13