Today’s a day for some thought-provoking stuff. I came across “The Port Huron Statement” a few days ago. It was the manifesto of an American student activist movement. It’s very long (and i won’t pretend to have read it all) but this little section caught my eye. It’s (predictably?) Utopian, but noble nonetheless:
Men have unrealized potential for self-cultivation, self-direction, self-understanding, and creativity. It is this potential that we regard as crucial and to which we appeal, not to the human potentiality for violence, unreason, and submission to authority. The goal of man and society should be human independence: a concern not with image of popularity but with finding a meaning in life that is personally authentic; a quality of mind not compulsively driven by a sense of powerlessness, nor one which unthinkingly adopts status values, nor one which represses all threats to its habits, but one which has full, spontaneous access to present and past experiences, one which easily unites the fragmented parts of personal history, one which openly faces problems which are troubling and unresolved; one with an intuitive awareness of possibilities, an active sense of curiosity, an ability and willingness to learn.
But here’s the bit that really spoke to me. It talks about economic principles, and this is pretty much my philosophy on my “work life”:
“…work should involve incentives worthier than money or survival. It should be educative, not stultifying; creative, not mechanical; self-directed, not manipulated, encouraging independence, a respect for others, a sense of dignity, and a willingness to accept social responsibility, since it is this experience that has crucial influence on habits, perceptions and individual ethics.”
In other words, work is too big a part of our lives to just do it for the money. In my opinion, anyway. I’ve done mundane jobs I’ve hated throughout my life. But always as a means to an end. I can’t tolerate the possibility that I’ll be waking up 5 times a week for the next 30 or 40 years with a sense of dread…
In other news, I had an ace meeting with fellow Insight Out graduate, Louise Evans (known as “Business Lou” on the occasions when she’s not attending stupid amounts of gigs). Insight Out is a NESTA funded course for creative entrepreneurs and businesses which gives great opportunities and a chance to pitch for bundles of funding at the end. They’re looking for people in Wales to attend the 2008 course. Highly recommended! Drop the super-cool Claire Heat an email for more info.