There is nothing original. I occasionally visit Duncan Green’s Oxfam blog about development, I noticed he has a regular feature called ‘Links I Liked’. What a great way to briefly discuss things that have made an impression on you that week.  Well, imitation and flattery here you are…
…on Bowie
It is a year since David Bowie died, so there is much in media about his legacy. I have been transfixed by one particular quote I came across:
‘Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming’
This reminded me of just how insightful Bowie was. I remember seeing, in the weeks after be died, a Newsnight interview with him, dating back to the turn of the millennium. He forecasts the technological changes and resultant changes in the way which people consume media and ideas. Quite amazing.
If that wasn’t enough, just have a look at his recommended reading list which I came across too. Also amazing!
I have enjoyed Bowie’s music for as long as I can remember being into music. My particular favourite is Life on Mars and I need to catch up on the BBC Radio 2 documentary about the track.
…on work, leadership and playing the game
In an age of education cuts, I do consider myself fortunate to be able to do an external training course, especially one which lasts a year with face-to-face events and online modules. Today was the second face-to-face event. We looked at issues such as delegation, developing others, resilience and work-life balance. I have loads of things to take back to the classroom, but this post isn’t meant for depth, so I may write about that elsewhere.
One point which did stand out was about the tension which exists between performance and learning. Performance being what we do; at its worst to ‘tick boxes’. Meanwhile, learning is about reflection and change; in other words, making the performance better. I was captivated by this as it resonates with the outlook I’ve always tried to take to work (and life to some extent). There are things we have to do and then there are things we want to do. Whilst we can try to focus on the things we value and want to do, we still have to do, or at least be seen to be doing, all the things that we have to do. Managing expectations and other people’s perception of you is incredibly important. Some might say this sounds like ‘being political’ or ‘playing the game’. I’d argue that unless we can take control of the external factors controlling what we have to do, we must find a way to avoid those things getting in the way of what we want to do. Of course, some of the things we have to do are essential if we want to do the things we value, so it isn’t all about paying lip service. Rather, it is about achieving a healthy balance.
…on The Joshua Tree
Returning to a musical theme, I am very excited to see that U2 are returning to stadiums this year to mark the 30th anniversary of The Joshua Tree. I’ve read quite a lot of praise which people have heaped on the album, which I myself consider to be seminal. Many of the people praising the work listened to it on release, I myself was born the same year, so came to the album later. Nonetheless, it is one of my favourite albums, with such anthemic songs. I also enjoy some of the lesser-known album tracks, like Red Hill Mining Town and One Tree Hill.
I’m also excited because it’ll be a chance to see my first U2 stadium show, having made my U2 live debut at their arena Innocence & Experience Tour in 2015.
…on leisure
Or more precisely, the poem Leisure by William Henry Davies:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
The opening lines came to me and I wanted to go away and read the whole poem. I was so taken by the words and the sentiment that I decided to commit it to memory. It was a neat little challenge and I may well try to do the same with other poems or lyrics; must be good for the memory too.