Underbelly: 10 Things - Human


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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly
#143 in a series of wild and precious reasons why it’s wonderful and messy to be human.

This week I contemplated being human :) We have such potential! We are so, so, so messy and flawed and beautiful and unlike machines…
I have innumerable stories of the illogical, heartbreakingly gorgeous ways humans showed up for me this week. Sometimes it was me, lying flat on the trampoline in the sun, somehow only able to stare up at the trees, the sky, a crow, and be grateful for it all — but unable to do anything else…for two full hours. (It felt great. Dishes were left undone.)
Sometimes it was a group of humans I walked into. One motley crew of humans playing cello enthusiastically, with joy, determined. This was a cello recital with young kids, teens, and the adults who had gained the courage to learn something new past a certain age. These adults were the ones I especially delighted in. Each so different in what they brought. So very very human. I immediately wanted more of what they have in my own life:)
And so I found it interesting that my week closed with a lesson from an economist, reminding us that even if we are “doing it wrong” that may be, actually, because we are “doing it human-ly” and maybe that is okay.
“All the Personal-Finance Books Are Wrong
They tend to treat their readers like fools without willpower. So you could argue that they’re wrong for the right reasons.” —Derek Thompson, The Atlantic <= that is actually the title of the article :) It says everything.
“Economists tend to offer more rational advice, because they are dealing with numbers; best sellers tend to offer more practical advice, because they are grappling with human behavior—with all of its mess and irrationality.” — James Choi, Popular Personal Financial Advice Versus the Professors
“Personal-finance best sellers succeed by blending theory and psychology in a way that takes human nature seriously and thus deserves the respect of economics professors. But those who spend a lifetime delaying gratification may one day find themselves rich in savings but poor in memories, having sacrificed too much joy at the altar of compounding interest.
Perhaps many of the most popular personal-finance books could take a page from economic theory: There is more to life than optimized savings habits.” — Derek Thompson, All the Personal-Finance Books Are Wrong, The Atlantic
“I’ve always been intrigued by how we think about money — or, maybe more accurately, how we fail to think about money. It is one of those topics (like sex and religion and politics), that is often driven less by thoughtful consideration and more by emotion. Money is so versatile, so central to our daily decision-making, that we attach all sorts of emotions to it — excitement, fear, lust, regret. It’s hard to name an emotion that doesn’t get attached to money. And this can make money hard to talk about. In some cases, even taboo.” — Stephen Dubner, Are Personal Finance Gurus Giving You Bad Advice? One Yale economist certainly thinks so. But even if he’s right, are economists any better? Freakonomics
3. Prompt
This week, I found myself consistently marveling at the irrationality of humans. It brought me back to all I learned from Ian McGilchrist’s book “The Master and His Emissary” — a book I was deep in last winter :)
Rationality should not take the lead role — rationality is important :) but should be the loyal sidekick, the assistant manager, the emissary.
Creativity should be the leader in our lives. Not unbridled…there is a place for rationality. But rationality needs to know its place.
So…how often do you, really, let Creativity take the lead in you life?
I know for me, as I observed and noticed all week long, I often feel a tinge of guilt (still!) when creative, messy, illogical me takes over.
Obviously, I am eternally grateful to Rationality — otherwise I might still be lying on that trampoline, perhaps having procured a duvet, but otherwise, content to just be.
I think, however, that Ian McGilchrist got it right — often in our society we are out of balanced.
And you? Where is your balance point? Are you following your creativity while gently acknowledging rationality? Or does rationality take over too often, chiding you for your silly, messy, illogical, childlike ideas?
Or…is your creativity out of control because you banished rationality awhile back because it would not stay quiet?
4. Quest
Observe how creativity and rationality show up for you this week. Do they “play nicely”?
5. Level up
What can you do to encourage balance? Can you acknowledge places of imbalance and notice how that might be impacting your spirit?
6. Podcast
Are Personal Finance Gurus Giving You Bad Advice? - Freakonomics
7. Video — What I love about this is how James Choi uses reason to has out ration versus "humanness"
Panel 5_James Choi
Panel 5_James Choi
8. Poem
BLINDFOLDED BRAHMINS - ko ko thett - Burma - Poetry International
9. Hero
Stephen J. Dubner - Wikipedia
10. Connect
Don’t miss out on the other issues by Wendy Kelly
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Wendy Kelly
Wendy Kelly @wendykkelly

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Nelson, British Columbia