Tuesday 26 October 2010

Einstein's eyes

Albert Einstein. Not a man I'd guess you'd be seeing quoted in this blog. No, you haven't wandered unthinking into the wrong one. Unthinking is in fact exactly what I'm not going to be doing. I like thinking, I do. Not alone in this, it seems :O)

It's not my job to think like this. My job is almost entirely irrelevant to this blog. In fact the separation between the two is quite important to me because the temptation to tears strips off people and situations is not something I wish to give in to, and so the separation will remain. Observant people may have noticed a certain displeasure recently. Ask, I'll explain, but not here. No place for negativity here.

And so, back to Einstein. A wonderful man for the quite obvious reasons - someone else might have made the leaps in physics he did, but that he did so at the time he did speaks volumes of a man who saw things differently. So differently, in fact, that the theory of relativity which entirely relies, depending on perspective, on the ability to see things from different angles.

But it's not the physics I'm interested in. Even I can't pull relativity into social media - well okay, I could, but I'm not going to. No, instead I want to examine the particular way of looking at things which Einstein seemed to have and try and focus on the "seeing things differently" aspect.

There are two ways to live your life - one is as though nothing is a miracle, the other is as though everything is a miracle.

You're reading my words. I probably only typed this 10 minutes before you read them. Think about it. Instant thought transferal, almost. To thousands of people. 1 person. 1 tiny little person who likes to think a bit. Miracles? Start with seeing the small ones. Now, think about all the massive ones you could perpetuate from where you're sitting right now, imagine your wonder if you were to go back 20 years and look at what you are capable of, right now. Don't tell me miracles can't happen. Nor that something is impossible. Only concede that something is 'a little difficult right now' but it wont always be.

Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.

An insult commonly levelled at academics is that they're incredibly intelligent but have no common sense whatsoever. Well, tell me the value of common sense, if not having it means no prejudices at all? I'll live with no prejudices, thanks. Common sense isn't something I particularly miss. Thinking someone is a bad person because of something they have absolutely no control over? I'm not swapping.

We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

Well no. No we can't. We really can't. And so whilst big society is coming in for some abuse at the moment, lets consider the problem. Very few people in this country give a damn about their next door neighbour. Apathy reigns. The cold hard fact is, we're screwed if we don't reverse that trend. I don't think the big society does anything other than identify the antithesis to this, which is that caring is a commodity gone well out of fashion. The issue, the biggest one of all, is that people don't start caring just because central government tell them to. You cannot instruct a human nature. All you can do is change your whole way of thinking, in the centre, and hope that your actions which are informed by that change of thinking can filter outwards on the spiderweb of our humanity.

The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.

I ask a lot of questions. Lots of us do. It's not that we want to annoy or irritate. It's not that we want to make your working or professional life hell. It's not for the devilment of it though sometimes, lord knows, your reaction tempts us to it. No. Questioning the things which are taken as set in stone means that interesting and innovative ways of doing things can happen. Stepping around the edges. Wriggling under the barriers. Call what you like, asking questions and not accepting that the first answer is always the right one is not troublemaking. It's supposed to make you think too. It's supposed to stop you from running down the same old track.

A lot of things covered in this blog, as already mentioned are not in my day jobs remit. The time I spend on Twitter, in the majority, is nothing to do with my day job either. Instead, the comments I make and the questions I ask are informed by my life experiences, by the things which I have endured, but also the things which I have been lucky enough to enjoy. I don't ask difficult questions or make difficult comments to wind people up. I instead want to challenge the assumption that because authority says something is working, that we should simply accept that it is. Where are the facts, the cold hard evidence, the best practice case studies, to back those statements of a well performing system to back that assumption up? If they're not there, who is accountable, what is the experience of the people on the ground, and what are you going to do to ensure that if peoples experience of your service is negative, what you are you going to do to fix that problem?

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.

If, every single day, every single business man, local government Director and Chief Executive, MP and economist, think tank bod and government advisor woke up and thought 'imagine if we.........' we'd be in a better world., Stop thinking about what you can do in a world with restraints. Start thinking about what you can do in a world without them. Don't follow like sheep along the paths everyone else is walking - your area is different, probably. Different demographics, different geographics, different inputs, throughputs and outputs. Insteasd of looking at what everyone else is doing, think about what is right for where you live, work, represent or champion - ask the questions which mean the walls come down, ask the questions which use the infrastructure that's coming to it's absolute best, ask yourself how you can graps the coming challenges and change them into opportunities.

Use a little imagination. Aspire. Inspire. Lead. 

The world through Einsteins eyes is one of infinite possibility, imagination, curiosity and questioning. If he could lay the first brick in the path which eventually led all the way to CERN, what can you do if you tilt your head 45 degrees and apply a different filter in front of your eyes? You're the ones in power, you're the ones with the chance, you're the ones elected and selected to represent us little people. Use it. Don't bough beneath it.

No comments:

Post a Comment