Imagine, on the other hand, if our society had space for all the other character traits out there. If drive and efficiency and productivity weren’t the most important, but were recognised as things that are fiery. But that water, air, and earth all had places that were just as important: that play was important and empathy was important and the ability to think long-term was important. That we recognised our own natural pace, and processing speed, and skills as being valid in their own right, not valid in reference to, or in absence of Fire.
How would that feel different?
How would that change our feelings of self-worth?
How would it change how we felt about ourselves at the end of a day, if it wasn’t measured solely by how productive we were, but maybe by how good a conversation we had with a friend, or how much fun we had, or how we rested very well?
"When there’s nobody but us we eat in the kitchen, which is maybe the most important room in our house, the room where everything happens, where things begin and take their shape and end."
∆ James Baldwin, from If Beale Street Could Talk
“The ability to ask beautiful questions, often in very unbeautiful moments, is one of the great disciplines of a human life. And a beautiful question starts to shape your identity as much by asking it as it does by having it answered. And you don’t have to do anything about it. You just have to keep asking. And before you know it, you will find yourself actually shaping a different life, meeting different people, finding conversations that are leading you in those directions that you wouldn’t even have seen before.”
— David Whyte, On Being interview “The Conversational Nature of Reality”