I have been carrying the August 9th Economist around with me for a couple of weeks. There was something about one of the lead pieces that I intuitively knew held something for me … I needed to wait for the time to process. That happened over the weekend.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn who died on the 3rd August, wrote what has been described as “the most powerful single indictment of a political regime ever to be levied in modern times” against the terror of Stalin. The article goes on to ‘lament’ the absence of intellectual dissent in today’s contemporary society, or at least how political correctness has hurt the impact of what is said publicly. (eg. There would not be even a ripple if Noam Chomsky were invited to speak at the ‘annual capitalist jamboree’ in Davos’)
The Economist piece was called ‘Speaking the Truth to Power’. I expected to muse about the voices on the margins of society and their prophetic calling to account of those in social and economic power. I ended in a very different place, following from the theme from last week’s blog.
I wondered about the power I have over myself. When in (social or economic) power, it takes extraordinary courage and insight to suspend our own judgements about the nature of reality and listen to the dissenting voices. However, it is frequently the voices from the margins that hold the key to our healing and health. They are the voices of revelation. They uncover things that we suppress, either consciously or unconsciously. They unveil the blind spots, allowing us to address the things that have the potential to disqualify us from achieving our goals.
And so I ask myself, what are the voices about me that challenge the stories I tell myself about who I am? As I processed this with Maria over the weekend, she suggested that it would ultimately be a liberating exercise. I doubted it at the time. After some more hours of conversation and thinking, I suspect she is right.
I’m not sure this blog is the appropriate place to bare my soul; however to illustrate what I am talking about, I can repeat something from my journal notes yesterday; “I am an ordinary urban professional with delusions of greatness.’
I have begun to apply this to our business too. It goes against the grain of conventional marketing to downplay one’s capacity and abilities. It takes the same courage and insight to listen to the alternative or marginal voices about who we are at Ergo for us to see our blind spots and the realities we suppress … but hopefully that too will be liberating.
By the way, happy spring. Nature’s instincts for new life are everywhere already aren’t they; blossom ready to burst. I wonder if our weekend inclination to roast some capsicum with garlic and parsley to eat on fresh bread falls into the same category?
Perhaps allowing the dissenting voices about our own lives will also take root produce some new life within.