You’re Not Done Yet

There’s a great deal to be said about the past year.

Which, of course, is why Webster’s summarized it all with one word.

Their word of the year…

Surreal

Merriam-Webster defines “surreal” as “marked by the intense irrational reality of a dream.”

That’s a fine definition.

But it’s also kind of tricky. Like everything else has been this year. Because the word is also used by people to describe very real, and increasingly common, circumstances.

Frankly, I prefer the term “bummer.”

But, I’ll leave it to Stephen Colbert and Michael Stipe to give us a bit more context.

Bummer, right?

But no matter what the outcome of all this craziness was for your organization and your tribe, take heart.

We need you more than ever now.

You are not done yet.

There are things you can do to rescue good from the jaws of conceit.

The new, new normal?

In fact, I can think of five things that you can do that will make a difference in wacky times like these.

Be brave.

Don’t give up.

Find new directions.

Assault the new status quo.

Change your little piece of the universe.

Make art. Make a difference

But in all your doing, most of all, continue to make art.

Art is your original gift.

It is your connection that changes those who receive it. It’s your human ability to make a difference.

Art isn’t a painting or even a poem. It’s something that any of us can do.

Art doesn’t follow instructions

Or a manual, or blessed best practices, or a boss’s orders.

Instead, art is the human act of creating the uncreated, of connecting with another person at a human level.

The risk that the artist takes is that you might not like what they create. Might not be touched by it. Might actually laugh at the effort.

So why should you keep doing it?

For the love of it

It’s the taking of these risks that leads us to the reward.

If you interact with others, you have the platform to create something new.

Something that changes everything.

And for what’s inside you

Don’t forget who you are and why you started this journey.

As a reminder, let’s call on the lyrics of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul from the film La La Land.

Here’s to the Ones Who Dream.

It’s well worth listening to the edited version for the trailer.

But it’s most enlightening to read the entire thing.

Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish, as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make

 

She captured a feeling

Sky with no ceiling

Sunset inside a frame

She lived in her liquor, and died with a flicker

I’ll always remember the flame

 

Here’s to the ones who dream

Foolish, as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that ache

Here’s to the mess we make

 

She told me:

A bit of madness is key to give us new colors to see

Who knows where it will lead us?

And that’s why they need us

So bring on the rebels

The ripples from pebbles

The painters, and poets, and plays

 

And here’s to the fools who dream

Crazy, as they may seem

Here’s to the hearts that break

Here’s to the mess we make

For we are music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams.

And the future, my friend, as always, belongs to the brave.

Who knows where it will lead us?

That’s why they need us.

So bring on the rebels, the storytellers, the painters, and poets, and plays.

Here’s to the marvelous mess we will make.

Dream on.

But that’s just my opinion. What’s yours?

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  • Inspired Gordon – Thank you!

  • Kay Anstrom

    I agree with bummer lol. But yes, I think this past year has sparked something in me. I feel it in my heart and I am trying to discover how I can be more part of the things that go on around me. I want to teach my baby to grow up to be kind, accepting and to know empathy. I want her to to be strong, to seek things out and to take a stand in what she holds dear. I hope she’s a dreamer :D. Cheers to the New Year! Thanks for your words Gordon!