The messy signals we send

‘Work is love made visible’.

I particularly like this quote by Kahlil Gibran. Our physical presence can be gross and messy ; we are constantly producing a hell of a lot of information (with our postures, our reactions, …). As we unintentionally send all these contradictory signals, people around us can get destabilized and have trouble to deal with us.

It is a common phenomenon that a celebrity is worshiped by many, but once one of her fans encounters the celebrity, he feels deceived. The celebrity’s work is moving and intimate, but in person, the celebrity was scornful, distant or boring. Work is a manifestation of our utter love, a sample of how our ideal world looks like. Every decision, every angle, every second of it is intentional. All the signals converge.

When we interact in person, we bring our brain along, the originator of our work, but we also bring the rest of our body. And we produce all these random signals. Not every angle is intentional. In traditional Chinese medicine, the patient is diagnosed after a study of a beam of symptoms. That is, listening to the majority of the symptoms and finding a general pattern, even if a few of them are outside that pattern.

What about we do the same ? Instead of being confused and irritated with a celebrity who is distant but whose work is great, why don’t we find a beam ? A beam made of the most intentional, the loudest signals she sends, and we can put up with the ones that are not in the beam.

Let’s try that next time we meet someone (not just a celebrity).

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