This post is in response to the One Word (dangerous) that I posted yesterday. It took me a long time to decide how to approach today’s contribution. I really wanted to create an image like I have for the previous posts, but thought that might be cheating :). So I initially settled on ‘critical thinking skills’ to explore apathy, groupthink and the courage to ask questions. But then I got stuck – too many thoughts and no coherency. If I had only 3 hours to write this (as if I was taking the exam), I’ve already spent two hours wearing the carpet thin going backwards and forwards. So I took a step back and decided to speak from the heart. Then it flowed.
I am an addict.
There have been times when I have been completely consumed and the tell-tale signs have surfaced for all to see – the pent-up energy, the bloodshot eyes, and the inability to stop.
But mostly for the last 15 years, I have managed to hide it.
I am addicted to finding heroes and unleashing them. Pretty weird huh?
I can’t stand the way that society and business treat people. As if we must all fit into a certain mould. That one size fits all. That we should strive to be normal. Get married, have kids. In that order. Buy a house, not rent. Struggle for the BMW, boat and bach.
It’s ordinary and mediocre. Mediocre is worse than failure. Mediocre products and services do what they’re supposed to do, but are so bland that they’re forgettable. Mediocrity comes from the middle. From the desire to blend in, not rock the boat. It’s where consensus lives.
It is easy to whinge about what’s broken in our libraries and why things can’t be done. This mindset rejoices in failure. Yet we often overlook instances where we set the bar so low that mediocre library services are celebrated as success stories.
I am on a quest to right the wrongs in a sea of sameness. To restore the balance, and create opportunities for individual rejuvenation. Because I believe we can and we should.
Everyone has a bit of hero within them. We each inherently want to succeed and be valued. To be admired for our courage or achievements. And I’m addicted to finding the heroes within each of us and unleashing them.
So what can you do to become a hero-in-the-making? Well, it’s easy. Heroes are known for their action, not engaging conversations!
All you have to do is ‘Do Something’. Don’t just talk about it.
It’s so easy to sit back and wait for someone else to make the first move. To seek the approval of others before taking action. To pass judgment in casual conversations with colleagues but stay silent when asked to participate. We don’t want to look foolish. We often believe that others know more than we do and therefore our opinion doesn’t matter, or that it’s someone else’s responsibility.
Aiming for extraordinary is difficult and not guaranteed. And it’s also inspiring, exciting and challenging. It’s the edge. Few people relish being on the edge, but this is where you’ll find the superstars and the rogues.
I picked up a book (in print) PB had been reading in the hope of being inspired for today’s #blogjune post. Heh. It didn’t take long.
“Provocative. Just one word….provocative.
Until recently, prospective students at All Soul’s College, at Oxford University took a ‘one-word’ exam. The Essay, as it was called, was both anticipated and feared by applicants. They each flipped over a piece of paper at the same time to reveal a single word. The word might have been ‘innocence’ or ‘miracles’ or ‘water’ or ‘provocative’. Their challenge was to craft an essay in three hours inspired by that single word.” InGenius: a crash course on creativity by Tina Seelig. p.3.
Today I reveal the word, tomorrow I write the post. Would you like to join me?
This idea still needs more work and I’d like to explore it further when I get the time. It builds on the thinking from yesterday’s post – Crowdsourcing Library Training?
- The importance of internal branding for libraries.
- Opportunities as seeds – Tosca Waerea’s perspective on using @sweden‘s approach to social media streams in libraries.
- Lessons in blogging and tweeting from Samuel Pepys.
- The engaged web in New Zealand – a May 2012 report on the engagement levels of New Zealand’s most popular websites.
- Deconstructing Air New Zealand’s branding success – an article from Idealog.
- @AirNZFairy – one of Air New Zealand’s online personas.
Last Thursday we held our first Reality Librarianship event.
Here’s a summary of what happened.