When I first heard Greg Laswell’s “Comes And Goes (In Waves)”, a certain line resonated within in me for much, much longer than any other one: “This one’s for the torn down, the experts at the fall.”
My first reaction was one of surprise, as I felt like this was put oddly positive (“experts at the fall”). Though after a few seconds of wonder, it clicked: There’s an intrinsic part in “becoming an expert at the fall” that’s both uplifting and positive, which lies at the center of various areas of psychological research and knowledge (such as resiliency, coping, hardiness, grit). It’s the basic fact that also made the saying “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” one of the best known (and most quoted) idioms of our time: Growth is always preceded by the overcoming of resistance. Obstacles and trouble are preconditions for change and progress. (Think of muscle growth following resistance training, same principle.)
… or at least tried to.
With Edward Snowden’s revelations still coming in at a steady pace, more and more people seem to become enraged by the behavior of intelligence agencies and “big data” companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Yahoo and Apple, and rightfully so. Knowing that all your data is at stake, you might find yourself beginning to think about reclaiming independence regarding your (digital) life.
That’s what I did, once the news about pretty much everyone being spied upon by various agencies worldwide started to emerge. I was suddenly thrust into a place where all these comfortable solutions (free email, free synchronized cloud storage, free social networks) showed their real cost. And it wasn’t astonishment that characterized my emotional reaction, but rather shame and a nagging feeling of “I knew, but didn’t act upon my knowledge”. You see, I knew of sayings like “If the service you are using is free, you are the product” and was generally a rather skeptical person, but I didn’t seem to really understand the scope of it. It was just too convenient to go along with a lot of new (and convenient) developments. I was responsible, and for that reason, a feeling of shame seems pretty appropriate.
This video not only is highly interesting, it’s also highly relevant to the ongoing collective Gratitude Journal that is 1000 Things To Thank Others For. Mr. Amen mentions the usage of a Gratitude Journal at about 9 minutes into the talk. But the whole thing is well worth your time.