“In an age where there is much talk about “being yourself” I reserve to myself the right to forget about being myself, since in any case there is very little chance of my being anybody else. Rather it seems to me that when one is too intent on “being himself” he runs the risk of impersonating a shadow.”
This sounds so contemporary that you’d be forgiven for thinking it was crafted just recently. In fact it appeared in 1967 in the literary journal “The Hudson Review” in an essay titled Day of a Stranger, written by the spiritual thinker and mystic Thomas Merton.
The moral? Each age thinks its core identity and values are under attack. Authenticity and freshness are fading away and everything is fake and artificial. It’s not. But we think it is. And because we think that, it makes the perceived assault real and we struggle to somehow fight against it and be real ourselves. Prove that we are not giving up. Not without a fight.
Nothing worth having comes easy (and I am paraphrasing Theodore Roosevelt). Value is always found not in what we say we gain in doing something but in what it costs us for it to be done.
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The world is changing. Not overnight and not all at once, but it is changing nevertheless. In my talks to corporate groups, CEOs, VPs and industry leaders I gleam insights of how this change is happening. What evidence exists. Why some things happen and not others and how we can best take advantage of it all to do better. In Observations I catalogue it all. Brief, to the point and open to discussion.