Saturday, October 10, 2015

The Tyranny Of If-Then

At the inspirational artist keynote part of Adobe MAX, a charming young girl named Elle Luna gave a short talk on her seminal work, The Crossroads Of Should And Must. There's an accompanying book, which I bought on Kindle. Elle was a sweetheart and meant well, but, as I said, she is very young.

Cutting to the chase, in her opinion, should is what the world tries to force on you and must is your calling in life, something you must do, driven by inner forces. It's all so simple. You need to cut away the unnecessary shoulds and focus on the must in your life. In her case, it was painting. She went on to talk about how society had expectations of her as a woman and then generalized it to race, gender and all the favorite social justice jibber jabber. It was endearing and sad at the same time.

What Elle was really complaining about was if-then. If you want a boyfriend, then you can't eat whatever you want and weigh 300#. If you want to have children, then you probably can't wait until your late 30s. If you want to get the job, then you can't come in to the interview dressed like a lunatic. For most of us, these are pretty simple limitations. Elle argued that they were unjust mandates from a closed-minded society. Did I say she was young?

Having said that, so much of what she said was inspiring. I recommend the book. I suspect that most of my readers will be able to pull out the gems of her thought and smile at the naive parts.

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