Joshua Gordon

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Guelph, Ontario, Canada
I live in Guelph - an artsy, tree hugging university town in Ontario. I work hard to be a creative and innovative influence in the places I find myself. Most of the time that looks like networking with other creatives, researching, or filling up my sketchbook / journal with ideas.

Monday, January 12, 2009

my soap box: living in a self-help era and why it's the worst

can we talk for a few moments about our generation? can we spend some time in genial discourse? would it be fine to delve together into the mysterious shadowed folds of our culture?

i would like that.

to begin our time together, i've prepared a few statements. they are inspired in part by pastor steve, and in part by random chats i've had with others in my life, from both near and far.

firstly, we have a fascination with 'experts telling us how we don't need experts'. ie: "if you read my book, you'll discover why you won't need other experts telling you how to build a deck/marinate a steak/lose weight/write a book, etc..." this is also known as self help.

secondly, self help books erode what little community we manage to cobble together in our individualistic and ego-centric society. if we allow ourselves to be constantly directed inward to find the resources we need, we withdraw from those around us.

thirdly, self-aholics (not my phrase) will always focus on themselves and put minimal energy into understanding others. their passions and their latest projects and their problems with boys/girls/inadequacy/busyness/insert topic here will always take precedence over the issues of others. even when others are talking, self-aholics are not paying full attention. rather, they are formulating their own responses to what is being said.

pant, pant.

i'm done.


1 comment:

~m said...

what about the danger of the opposite trend toward doing everything by proxy?
someone once said that a parliamentary democracy is only truly democratic once every four years. we likewise outsource lots of valuable aspects of life: cooking meals, raising children, expressing love (hallmark, anyone?), making a point (notice how i just quoted someone?).

there's gotta be a balance between do-it-(all)-yourself and do-everything-by-proxy.