So, to date, this blog has been mostly focused on themes and ideas that I have had running around in my head for many years. And as I have a lot of these (many as the result of hanging out with really smart people) I have yet to need pop culture or other big social themes to write about. And so today is sort of my first foray into writing about “what goes on around us” and I like it. Seems to be fun to think about and write about the contemporary, interesting and relevant. I especially like it that it makes me think – makes me wonder – and also inspires me to want to participate. Ah, so what is “it” – the “it” is the Harlem Shake. It is on the news, on Facebook, in the social community and in the hearts and minds of many a person I come in contact with. And today, here is a shameless plug – the Boston office of Penn Foster “killed it” with our version of the Harlem Shake today - it was wicked funny and so good I watched it five times. What is even more fascinating (at least for me) is that I hear there might be a Penn Foster Scranton version tomorrow (Wednesday) as well. Stay tuned.
Ok, OK, what am I to make of this? What is going on around me? Seemingly buttoned up people doing flash mobs, Harlem Shake’s and a plethora of other fun stuff on YouTube. Is it that we are just loving life and wanting to show our passion for it? Or are we doing something else. I will state, first and foremost I love what I am seeing! And I love it for so many reasons. It shows that we can bring fun, passion, creativity and energy to the workplace. For once we stop taking ourselves so seriously and we show to each other and the world that we can have fun and be “out there”. There is a sub-text of; we can be more crazy, can do it better, but it really feels like more of a sort of respectful competition – we want to be good enough so that so that others want to watch and we want to entertain. And we can appreciate when others do the same.
What a remarkable moment we have hit when we can throw away our “fears” and live the joy of expression. It reminds me of the same reason why I (we) love to get dressed up in costume for Halloween. We can be someone else for a moment, we can let down our guard, we can just have fun again. For years when I was in NYC I would go to the Greenwich Village Halloween parade and I marveled at the intensity put to dressing up and living out a full-on expression of who each individual was. I never bored of it and for sure the participants never did either. And now many years later, enabled by Youtube, we have our own virtual stage to perform on. What could be better? Maybe, just maybe, we are saying that we need to take life one bit slower, a bit less seriously, that being time starved and in pursuit of “more” is not the only way we want to live. Could it be that we are all in search of bringing fun back into our world – being a kid again – thinking that play is what it is all about? I have been told by too many people that for most of our life we work actively to take creativity away from people and out of our lives – that we are not artists – well, I think this “ Harlem Shake thing” proves them wrong. We have not lost our creativity just the outlet for it. We have to encourage this passion, this creative thinking, this ability to express ourselves And then add to the creativity theme the practicality of what it took to get these videos done and this is even more impressive. Passionate people taking time to dream up the plan, recruit people to participate, take time to setup, create the choreography, execute on it and then share it – quite remarkable actually. And so it is that when we take a step like this we win on so many levels - To me this is high performance personified – a metaphor for what is possible – Shake, Rattle and Roll! Harlem Shake indeed!
Loving Life Even More Today!
Late night – just got back to Scranton from Tallahassee – flight delays etc. And oh to my surprise there was Sally waiting for me. What to do? Well, I tried to talk her out of it but she had nothing of it – so on came the song and the energy flowed with it – ditto of last night 3:26 +10 seconds. Not as good on 4:17, 173 pushups tonight. Better than nothing, for sure.