“Losing your inspiration is a dark phase”
I was just talking to my buddy Larry of Unionbase who coincidentally reached out to me the other day just as I was writing the Hello, Universe post. Given their mission to “reimagine, rejuvenate and recreate the relationship between workers and unions” and ours to “enable people to create their own business, provide mutual support and prosper from their data,” I figured this was as serendipitous an offer as one could have hoped.
During our conversation, we discussed our ups and downs with inspiration and the feeling of being burned out along the way. Fortunately, despite our own personal struggles, both of us found ourselves currently in a mode where we were enthusiastic to create. So much so, in fact, that Larry’s quote at the top of this post inspired me to write this.
Working on pinpointing exactly what the Human Union is and its purpose, one of the major themes that arises is the need to provide inspiration. As we discussed in Modern Business, traditional business frequently leaves people feeling powerless and uninspired. Given how critical an influence what we do is on who we are, it’s effectively impossible to separate our personal and professional lives. Which means, if your work sucks and is devoid of inspiration, it’s equally likely your personal life sucks and is devoid of inspiration.
While there is a great deal out of our control and we can’t yet claim to have realized our vision in empowering humanity to do what we love, we can minimally start to take action toward that goal. As we introduced our self hosted and encrypted, Networked Community, one of the immediate things we can offer is a place where people can feel secure and inspired, a respite from the endless firehose of hatred that incessantly disrupts our day.
The other part of this to appreciate is that the causes of discomfort for the average person reading this are quite likely significantly less so than that of the average person in general. And their discomforts are less so than the most unlucky amongst us. While privilege may be relative, this is as good an opportunity as any to remind or inform you that there are 40 million modern slaves in captivity with a free market value of $90 – $100 driving a $150 Billion global industry. That’s, like, 150 unicorns.
So, no matter how shitty we may be feeling at any given moment, let’s take some solace knowing that, odds are, you aren’t a child sex slave being ferried across the ocean in a shipping container. And for those of us infinitely luckier than these modern human slaves, I feel like we somewhat owe it to them to help improve society through whatever power we have; it will assuredly be greater than the .5% of us who have none.
Likewise, if you are reading this, you are also alive, which is a miracle unto itself. I awoke this morning to much more horrifying news; that dedicated volunteer and incredible human, Jake Varghese, passed away over the holidays. My first reaction, naturally, was stunned confusion giving way to overwhelming sadness. However, instead of wallowing in pity, I considered what Jake would have wanted. This was the inspiration I needed to first continue writing this post and to reach out to the public bank he was on the board of. As awful news as this is, perhaps there is some silver lining to be found as his work and our decentralized finance platform certainly share a symbiotic connection.
The last bit of inspiration to share generated from a John Green video I watched yesterday about the $25 Million they are raising to open a hospital in Africa. For those unfamiliar, over the past decade and a half the Green brothers and their team have created thousands of videos, podcasts, books, and other types of content in general support of societal improvement. I’ve learned and been personally inspired by them more times than I could possibly count.
In John’s video above, the quote that most resonated with me and aligned with our own objectives is that “long term systemic problems deserve long term systemic solutions”. We appreciate how truly atrocious society can be at times and that reflecting on our dismal reality can drive us to tears or much, much worse. Still, if there is one piece of solace to offer, in the immortal words of David Bowie, you’re not alone:
Oh no, love! You’re not alone
You’re watching yourself but you’re too unfair
You got your head all tangled up
But if I could only make you care
Oh no, love! You’re not alone
No matter what or who you’ve been
No matter when or where you’ve seen
All the knives seem to lacerate your brain
I’ve had my share, I’ll help you with the pain
You’re not alone!
The inspiration we want to share for you and for all of us to be able to take control of our own lives while lending support to those without control of their own. The fundamental question we must answer is: how can we turn the pain positive? Join us, and together we’ll figure it out.