You Begin

You begin with a number of books, articles, and studies you haven’t read. Everyday consists of an interesting link, a wonderful insight, strands of emotions flying at you from all sides. At the end of the day you’re drained, a little numb, tougher maybe, but you can’t seem to move beyond playing the “Drive” soundtrack over and over again. That was the soundtrack from the summer of 2012, something so familiar that the instant moment it plays, you are reminded of those long sticky nights spent on trar, wine, scooters and bikes. Familiarity is comforting. Even if you enjoy the present and want to hold onto it as long as you can.

“…and how does that make you feel?”

That is the mantra of our Hyper Island, our Hyper prison, our dome of feels. Feelings explode around you everyday, and rather than like sad little volcanoes of hurt, sharing feelings generate empathy, empower, and humanize. One of the astounding things one of my crew mates said to you before the Adidas pitch was “just remember you are talking to humans. The client is human and we’re all human.” For some reason it clicked this time, because you’ve seen these humans in action. Even if it’s only been two weeks together. You’ve witnessed nerves, guts, excitement, elations, tears.

Lauren says, “you have to find your nutrition.” To have hope, you have to find your allies, find the people who give you hope. We talk about changing the world so often, and when the world launches the assaults, it’s much easier to curl in a ball and curse. China hangs on like a curse for all of us who made our way back. When you have the choice of a world that just seems to make more sense, it’s hard to remember that “benign impulses surely flourish under the frantic and gaudy surface of modernizing China.”

Will you go back? You hope you will, and you hope it is with renewed hope, an iron will, and an army of allies. Or you could remain here, and bury yourself in the books, and drain as much as you can from these books, articles, talks, and emotions. That is nice too.

Remember that you are not the one with the burden, that in fact you are lucky, because you have a choice. Remember that changing the world starts small. It starts with one person and one moment. So in the spirit of “service design”, let’s leave with a quote from Louis C.K. on the importance of serving…

"I saw a movie once where Spencer Tracy catches this woman about to kill herself — it's a pretty dark movie for the time — but I forget the name of the movie, but Spencer Tracy is on a boat and sees a rich, young girl about to throw herself off the boat because her fiance left her for another woman and he's trying to talk her out of suicide and he says to her, "Do you have a job? Do you have anything that you do in your life?" which was a funny thing to ask because she's, like, a 1920s socialite and she said, "No," and he said, "I think you should get a job, because it's very hard to be sad and useful at the same time."

Ever since I saw that I keep that in my head. If you can be useful, which means to somebody else, not to yourself, if you can be useful, it just makes you feel better. So I live in service for my kids, that's the first priority and then things like my career, they feed into that, they're part of that, because I'm providing for them but also it's just not that important. If something's not important, it's more fun."