So here's the thing. We're all stuck in this epic tug-of-war between our experience (read: subjectivity) and hard, measurable facts (cue: objectivity). I'm giving a final listen to my podcast with Dr. Kinga Mnich, and this theme keeps popping up throughout this episode. It's kinda, sorta jack-in-the-box jump scare. It's the kinda, sorta jump scare that I need to wake up from my comfortable nap of unchallenged beliefs....and perhaps you too.
And sure, you might argue till you're blue in the face that feelings and experiences are more subjective than one of George Lee's sculptures.* But, you can't run a litmus test on them or stick them under a microscope, can you? That's the messy, non-linear, beautiful catastrophe of human nature. It's why we weren't given a handbook on life-ing.
But here's the divine paradox.
Our culture, it's like a giant OCD machine that craves order system and routines and boxes and rules and objectivity. It's got this unhealthy obsession with facts, figures, and concrete proof, to the point where it often tosses empathy completely out of the window. It's like a fanatic clinging to a "facts don't care about your feelings" bumper sticker, while forgetting that feelings, though messy, make us who we are.
As a creative strategist, I deal with this all the time. And what works for me, doesn't work for my TEDx storytellers, digital academy creators, or podcast clients. They each have their own set of challenges, their unique perspectives and personal narratives. It's like navigating a vast ocean of human experiences and learning to sail through different waters. One-size-fits-all solutions simply don't cut it when we are dealing with the complexities of human subjectivity.
Which is why it's crucial to develop an individualistic approach, tailored to each person or project. Understanding that each person's journey, their life experiences, and how they interpret them is fundamental to this process. It's about embracing their unique brand of subjectivity, and integrating it into the creative process. It's about balancing the scales between subjectivity and objectivity, in a way that respects and values both sides.
This podcast with Kinga is a call to arms. It's a plea to let the balance tilt in favor of embracing the subjective nature of human experience. Only when we've got the guts to understand that, we can actually connect with people on a deeper level. It's not about sympathy cards or empty platitudes, but raw, genuine empathy that could potentially turn our society into something of meaning, curiosity, and infectious joy. And going beyond order system and routines and boxes and rules and objectivity and platitudes, subjectivity allows us to know that we are not alone.
And it's not just about feelings, but about thinking too. Critical thinking, that is. Remember, we're living in the era of fake news, deepfakes and misinformation. It's like navigating through a thick fog of bullcrap. So it's more important than ever to sharpen your BS-detection skills and hunker down on intuition. Know your biases, question them, dance with them, and discern for yourself.
So, we've surfed some gnarly waves, including the significance of emotions, the wrestling match with identity and belonging, and the menace of an objectivity-obsessed culture. And, we're not just talking about it, we're confronting it, unflinching, because that's how you build a society that's smarter, more empathetic, and inclusive.
As Levar from Reading Rainbow says, "You don't have to take my word for it." Go on! Experience it. Embrace your subjectivity, keep questioning, and remember: Life's too short to be a passive bystander. Engage, challenge, grow, take inspired action...because, well, why the frick not?
* I'm referring to George Lee from the Netflix show BEEF. Bonus points if you got it.