Stop, look...
"To choose a response is to reject the belief that we are at the mercy of others and not in control of what happens to us. While we may not be responsible for much of what occurs in our lives, we are completely responsible for our reaction to it." - Nilofer Merchant. The Power of Onlyness: Make Your Wild Ideas Mighty Enough to Dent the World
The five:
  1. “You’ll be happier professionally if you love life.” The destructive power of “F*ck It” and an incredible animation of the brain experiencing depression. Here’s a great explainer too from Rad Reads on how to pivot out of the paycheck economy
  2. "…The reason for boxing is, I needed a legacy. I need something to be in place when I’m gone.” The story of Bobby Czyz is incredible as is this story of the world’s top art forgery detective. We are experiencing a boom of bullshit jobs 💰and Kevin Baker outlines in Harper’s the death of a once great city. Meanwhile, here’s a window into my local Silicon Valley housing drama.  
  3. Where Beyonce and Jay-Z bring the Apesh*t (this video is rich in so many ways.) These grandmas are all glam and all over Instagram. 💰 Speaking of embracing your glam, here’s a Dear Suagars episode on trusting your body. 💰 Here, too, is how to build lasting relationships. Also, here’s an equation: pain + reflection = progress.
  4. Guess what I’ll be binge-watching this weekend 💰, and here's why I won’t let it get in the way of my sleep (and here's how to sleep). Speaking of rest, here’s why doing nothing is everything
  5. "No one can ever know what direction is best. That’s part of living.” In this letter to the editors of The Atlantic, Harry Truman explains why he dropped the atomic bomb

    Bonus: Happy (belated) Juneteenth!  

    💰 = Paywall, though please do consider paying to read what people write. Writers like to eat too. (Apologies if I miss one…) 

How to see people 👀
More often than I care to admit, I fall victim to my emotions. Petty comments slip past my lips like a rancid burp. Other times my face will show off my feelings like a store window. It takes everything I have, at times, to keep my words civil even as my thoughts are anything but.  

In those moments, I am lost in the distortion field of my feelings. This distortion field turns my reality into something much darker and more difficult to navigate than my actual reality. The distortion field might continue for a few hours until I am pushed to recalibrate and think differently. That push usually comes from spending time with another person. As I learn more about their reality, I see common threads with my own. I also hear about completely different problems that, selfishly, I am grateful I don’t have but want to help them solve. I can see the value in my lived experience and in theirs. Then, just like that, the distortion field evaporates, and I am back to a happier, healthier reality.  

I’m not unique. Humans are social creatures. Contact with one another helps us maintain a healthy, running context. I see it a bit like not drinking water. When I become dehydrated, I get cranky. When I spend too much time in my own head, I get cranky too. But it can be difficult, when I’m in a bad mood, to really see other people — to suck the marrow out of the bone of our interaction and set aside my petty feelings or fatigue.  

When I’m heading to a social engagement, I sometimes feel resentment for being “dragged away from home”, rather than excitement for “going to see a friend”. Then, once I get there, I’m cranky over the commute, and beating back my desire to deliver sullen one-liners. In that moment, I’m not seeing the other person. I’m self-involved and seeing my own sense of inconvenience. Eventually, my emotions fade, I start to see the other person, and I realize there’s no where else I would rather be. 

What about at work? How do you see people better at work? I went down a bit of a rabbit hole with Psychology Today and came across a piece that offers “three steps for getting an early promotion”. The three steps boil down to: 

  1. Respect people. 
  2. Do what you say you’re going to do. 
  3. Be kind.  
Seriously. That’s it. These aren’t just rules for work; these are rules for life. Yet, it can be difficult to do one of these things — not to mention all three — when you’re sleep deprived, hungry, frustrated or preoccupied with something else. Yet these three things are what it takes to really see other people -- and seeing other people is the key to unlocking just about everything of value in life. I find that, when I can combine all three of these things: respect, accountability and kindness, and set aside my own emotions or feelings even for a moment, I can see people and, in turn, I can more clearly be seen.   

Thank you a million times...
Thank you so much to my long-time donor Natalya Pemberton! Natalya is a culture and design enthusiast learning Sustainable Systems at the innovative Presidio Graduate School.

She has generously supported E is for Everything on Patreon. Please jump on through to learn more about both them and their projects.
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...and look again.
Emi Kolawole · E is for Everything HQ · Palo Alto California 94306 · USA
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