This post was written almost three years ago to the day. But considering the recent George Zimmerman trial, I believe there’s some things here that apply, especially with the talk of racism being the reason for Trayvon Martin shooting. Racism, whether overt or even “under the surface,” is often caused by lack of exposure to people not like themselves.
This morning on my morning walk I ran across a homeless gentleman collecting cans and bottles from a dumpster. I stopped and started a conversation with him which lasted about fifteen minutes.
We talked about a lot things, the weather, the oil spill and eventually the economy. His take on our economic conditions was that he thought things were getting worse. “How did you come to that conclusion?” I asked him.
“Well … I see more generic cans in the dumpsters than I used to. Even last year when things were supposedly worse, people stuck to their name brands. But now it’s changed.”
Interesting, as thought walking away.
After a bit I remembered a piece I read in copyblogger.com talking about the Medici effect during the start of the Renaissance. At the end of the Dark ages poets, artists, painters, sculptors and the like came to Florence, Italy to study and collaborate thanks to patronization of the wealthy Medici family. Essentially, this melding of different backgrounds and disciplines started the Renaissance.
How can we personally duplicate this for ourselves? Mix it up. Get out of your comfort zone. Humans are creatures of habit. We tend to do the same things, associate with same type of people we are and are influenced by the same sources as always. CHANGE IT.
If you are a doctor, hang with a plumber. If you’re white, talk to a black person. Take bus sometime (no people on buses don’t bite. If you live on the west side, have dinner on the east side. And most of all if your old (yes Boomers you are old) get some insight from someone young – that’s not your own kid.
Our brains are nothing more than synaptic connections which are built and strengthened through habitual activity and thought. Build some new ones, God only knows we could use more.
Who knows … maybe your next piece of inspiration may come next to a dumpster.
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