The American psychologist Jerome Kagan says meaning is “the human cobweb”. To know anything about spiders, you have to understand the one thing that makes them unlike all other insects: They make cobwebs. To know about human beings you have to understand that what we make is meaning.
We attribute things and experience with an importance that is way above and beyond their objective value. We give ourselves over to certain feelings and ideas and dedicate time, energy and thought to weaving them into a web of significance.
When we dedicate ourselves to something higher than ourselves, to improving life for others as well as ourselves, our creative capacity expands accordingly.
In the 2017 US election, Michelle Obama made an impassioned speech in reaction to Donald Trump’s “hurtful, hateful language” in which she made a clear statement of her values. “ When they go low, we go high,” she said.
We simply do not allow space in our hearts, minds, or souls for darkness. Instead, we choose faith. Faith in ourselves and the power of hard work. Faith in our God whose overwhelming love sustains us every single day…
We choose love. Our love for our children. Our commitment to leaving them a better world. Our love for our country which has given us so many blessings and advantages. Our love for our fellow citizens: parents working hard to support their kids, men and women in uniform who risk everything to keep us safe, young people from the toughest background who never stop believing in their dreams, some people like so many of you…
And we choose excellence… No cutting corners, no taking shortcuts, no whining. We give 120% every single time.
We see from her speech that Michelle Obama’s values include: hard work, Christian spirituality, love of country, love of children, fellow citizens, the armed forces, and hard work, again.
The poet Robert Browning once said to himself (and to us all):
“The aim, if reached or not, makes great the life: Try to be Shakespeare, leave the rest to fate!”
F-r-e-e-write a two page speech like Michelle Obama’s, explaining your definition of “going high” and what it would mean for you and your creative business.
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