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BLAND GEMS

October 19th, 2020

 

Exotic inevitably has an element of being foreign, of being different.  It’s this otherness of the exotic that gives it it’s allure and generates our fascination.  On the coin’s other side is the familiar, the commonplace, and by default: the plain.  The ordinary lacks allure because it lacks mystery.  It’s this framework of human fascination and disinterest that cripples a vital pathway between people, and underlines why it’s so important to share.

 

Share what?  Share thoughts, ideas, modes of being, personal strategies, observations - all of it.

 

Though on a personal level all of these things feel fairly benign, this is because of that framework of fascination: anything that we are overly familiar with is just boring.  And this emotional catch-22 keeps the mind from considering just how impactful these benign and boring thoughts might be for other people.  

 

What seems like a lacklustre idea to the person who casually has that idea might be the golden key to someone else’s conundrum.

 

The perspective that’s nothing but everyday to one person might be mind-bending to someone else.

 

The effortless methods one person has for organizing their internal life might be the saving grace for someone else who is suffering.

 

 

There are these bland gems that exist within each of us - bland because such things are boring to the one who possesses, and gems to others oblivious to such things.  The analogy works just as well with actual material possessions.  It takes no effort at all to imagine the restless, disgruntled and bored billionaire sitting on the back of their yacht wondering just what they should do.  Meanwhile there are countless millions who would rejoice with unhinged ecstasy if they were to suddenly find themselves beset with boredom in such conditions.  In the arena of material possessions and pleasure, this is referred to as hedonic adaptation, which if phrased simply, means that we get used to the good life and because of that, it ceases to be all that good, hence the need for more, and more.

 

Intellectually we are similar.  We suffer from a kind of personal intellectual adaptation: we are both bored of our own internal accomplishments and gems.  Everything we know and understand is just so obvious, by default.  But what is obvious to one is certainly not obvious to others: hence the benefit of sharing.

 

But as a further note, there’s perhaps a question of medium to consider.  While there are good influences on platforms like social media, such places are perhaps not constructed in a way ideal to the task of sharing for mutual and widespread benefit.

 

The old and school-abused method of simply writing is perhaps best, with in-person conversation following as a trailing second.  But both of these benefit immensely from a bit of skillful practice - and neither get much of such treatment.  School often signals the end of that eye-rolling drudgery known as writing, and almost no one is thinking about what it means to become a more skillful conversationalist.

 

How many of us are left like locked boxes of gems we ourselves see no value in?


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Podcast Ep. 918: Bland Gems

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