Not our own

I never knew communicating with my group mates could ever be fun and real, not until I got to know them beyond the ordinary delegation of tasks for a group project.

I never knew people would long for real conversations, not until a classmate made me see that a plain Web interface of a popular SNS, even with an updated status message on it, cannot provide a sufficient outlet for him to express all that is battling within his troubled heart.

I never knew a toxic major subject could be so fun—if the professor would just lighten up a bit and enjoy the discussion with the students, laugh a bit, give some encouragement while projecting the goals, and have fun. Sometimes, sticking to our expectations of each other limits us from exploring possibilities that would lead to new ways of achieving our goal. Sometimes, the expectation we have of each other limit us from acting like we normally do. It limits us from being human.

By the way, blogging is supposed to be easy and straight from the heart, right?

Our world today is no longer about sticking to tasks or rules or formats or expectations. We don’t have to stick with a schedule on what time we should be at school, what color of shirt to wear, how to exactly do our homework, or exactly how long we’re going to stay in school. It all goes with what we want or need depending on what day it is. It all goes with what suits us at the moment, and what our significant others’ schedules and comments have to do with it.

Whether we are Orcom practitioners in the workplace or Orcom students establishing and managing relationships at school, it no longer is the priority to know the objectives and the goals, the procedures and the default format. Rather, it’s about starting a conversation—and keeping it to nurture a connection, a relationship. Be it relating to a group mate or a co-worker, the aim is to start a talk and accomplish your personal or work in the process. Be it accomplishing a comm blog or a project at work, we have to capitalize on the stories that would link us to other people—because it’s no longer all about ourselves after all. It’s about to whom else we are connected, about something else aside from ourselves that will help accomplish the work.

Funny how the Me generation—the impatient, demanding generation—finds out in itself that it’s not about ourselves, it’s about others as well. It’s the Me generation who experiences the freedom from formal rules and the creativity to express one’s self, but at the same time, it’s the Me generation who’s named the Net Gen, the one who forwards the wave of collaborating, the age of connections and conversations. We now gain the power to further our own interests and engage where we want to, whenever we want. But at the same time, we carry all the more the need to stay linked to other people. As the times emphasize the power of the individual, it highlights even more that the individual is not an entity in itself—that it has always co-existed in a network of individuals, which enables it to thrive at its maximum potential.

—-

“Our lives are not our own.”

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8 thoughts on “Not our own

  1. “Our world today is no longer about sticking to tasks or rules or formats or expectations. We don’t have to stick with a schedule on what time we should be at school, what color of shirt to wear, how to exactly do our homework, or exactly how long we’re going to stay in school.

    Indeed, I agree with you Keren. This is true to me. Classical as it may sound, but I still recommend people, especially of my age, to prepare schedules or rules. Personally, it helps me to balance all my activities and engagements when I plot all of it in my calendar. At times, I even finish work earlier than expected because I am able to see all my upcoming events.

    1. pam! 🙂 yep, i also keep a daily planner, but the purpose is more of getting reminded with my top priorities, since each day is so full of activities and short-notice engagements that i tend to forget those things that shouldn’t be left undone.

      in an age where everyone is linked with many others and things go so spontaneously, rigid schedules and rules are out. we need flexible schedules that can adapt to our needs while keeping us reminded of our priorities. 🙂

  2. I will bombard you with cliche sayings like: “Rules were made to be followed”. This will forever be the default of a organized workflow. We may now have the concept of flexitime but this new way of managing time still has an allotted time for the task.
    Next, “No man is an island”. Even in the Me generation, we still see that a person cannot grow without the other. We only grow to be humans if we interact with other people as well. No wonder some hikikomori (social outcasts) in Japan commit harakiri (suicide). Connecting both, wouldn’t it be great to have people help you with your multi-tasking? Haha

    1. yes, i believe it will take a long time before flexitime becomes common in the workplace, but i also believe organizations nowadays allow less strict work schedules that give them the option to decide what to do in a given amount of time and how to do it, managing that at the end of the day the quota is met, the checklist complete.

      i agree with your second point. as i said, “it’s no longer all about ourselves after all. It’s about to whom else we are connected, about something else aside from ourselves that will help accomplish the work.” 🙂

  3. I truly appreciate this entry Keren. So straight from the heart. 🙂 Your discussion about “real conversation” brought me to ponder on and assess the level and kind of dialogue I am engaging myself in on a daily basis. But sad to my part, I have been losing that real connection in the recent past.

    Perhaps I have been exhausting myself too much with so much stuff. Lately, I have been too preoccupied with so many “priorities” and whatnot . This is too personal I know but I deem that this certain consideration is vital especially to anyone who would wish to merit the name “communicator.” It’s all rooted from that anyhow, don’t you think?

    Thanks for the reminder Keren.

    PS: By the way you’re title carries a lot of meaning. O;)

    1. thanks for visiting, kitty! i really appreciate your comment. as i read your comment, i remember my leader telling me, “Value people over things; relationships over issues.” there may be a lot of priority tasks to do, but in the end, what will matter–and what we will be longing for–are not accomplishments, but relationships. go, kitty! i know you can overcome that, conqueror. 🙂

  4. ” it no longer is the priority to know the objectives and the goals, the procedures and the default format. Rather, it’s about starting a conversation—and keeping it to nurture a connection, a relationship.”

    Sorry Keren, but i have to disagree with you on this. I believe that before doing anything, we have to know why we must do that thing in the first place. It always starts with the need, because if we don’t see the necessity to start a conversation or keep a relationship with a person or group of people or (putting it in the context of organizations) the public, then what is the point of doing it? I believe that it really must start with the goals and objectives (they must be the priority) and from there, the efforts will follow.

    At the end of the day, the question is not just about whether we are successful in engaging them in conversations or maintaining a meaningful relationship but also about whether we are able to meet the objectives or goals. Why do we have to talk with them and make a connection with them? I guess that will be our key measure of effectiveness. 🙂

    1. i think this blog is quite highly contextualized. what i mean with that statement is that oftentimes we’re too engrossed with doing what we’re SUPPOSED to do while forgetting the fact that those we are communicating to are HUMANS. Basically, what they need is relationship, not just being the means of getting someone else’s GOAL met. the next line, if you’ve read, says, “Be it relating to a group mate or a co-worker, the aim is to start a talk and accomplish your personal or work in the process.” taking some time to establish REAL, HUMAN connections leads you to fulfill the objectives–and fulfill even more than you’ve ever set as goals at the onset.

      besides, nobody really forgets his or her objectives and goals, right? 🙂 sometimes though, these just need to be off the top priority rank.

SO WHAT DO YOU THINK? :)

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