I find my children absolutely fascinating. They ask the most random questions and then, like seasoned old people wise beyond their years they discuss the complexities of the world in the simplest of terms which really, are the most distilled ways of looking at things and therefore, the most interesting ways to dialog I think. There is a game called "Would You Rather" that we like to play while we are in the car. Today, was one of the most profound discussions. The question was, "Would you rather never see your reflection or never have your image in a picture?" On the surface this seems to be a simple straight forward question, or in the company of a 8,7 and 5 year old, a rather simple one right?
My 5 year old said, "Well, I don't care what I look like just as long as I am there." Both boys agreed with her and then talked about why that was the case. My son said something like well, if we were in the rainforest your face would be all sweaty and dirty and that means you had fun. When we have school pictures, they make you comb your hair and look nice and that's not fun... I told you, interesting.
As I thought on that today, I thought about business in general and how companies are so worried about their reflection that they forget that it is more important to be in the picture... being relevant, being a part of the idea- that light bulb moment, and a part of the story. Image is important yes but, truly, there is more to be said about actually showing up and being there, getting dirty and working in the trenches with the end consumer. I know personally that the retreats, the classes, the boots on the ground activities with fellow students are the ones that end up on my wall of fame in my studio. There is where the good stuff comes from, the stories, the bonding, the memories, the interaction, the interplay of ideas; the stuff that life is made up of. It's not the slick ad with smiling faces or a reflection in the mirror that folks connect with. And quite frankly, showing up to a crop at midnight in my PJ's and fuzzy slippers donning a baseball hat never offended any of my students why, because it is about the art, the activity, the doing, not the way we look.