Monthly Archives: February 2017

All Kidding Aside

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All jokes are inside jokes.

Just that some circles are bigger than others.

Comedy is always contextual.

If you understand the joke, it is due to context.

In fact I would go so far as to say that a joke is only funny, due to its context.

A joke in Germany is merely an anecdote in Italy.

A joke in my circle of friends, is meaningless to your circle of friends.

Comedy; like language and culture, is shared norms and meaning within a group of people.

If anything, comedy is often used as a means to bring to light what is wrong within a group. What is questionable, detestable and discomforting in the meaning that is shared.

Humor does this by exaggerating that which is obvious, and saying that which nobody is willing to admit.

The concerns that plague a group of people who share meaning, are often reflected in it’s comedy.

Hence we can use a group’s comedy as an indicator of the meaning that this group shares.

Any group.

A group of friends.

A country.

A company.

Through humor we can learn much about them.

Hang by culture’s metaphorical water coolers, listen to the comedy and you will learn much about your culture. And by extension, yourself.

And if you wish to change the culture of your company, don’t ask people what it is they would change in management.

Listen to what it is they choose to laugh about.

Picture courtesy: nerdwriter1: Louis CK Is A Moral Detective

On Putting Yourself ‘Out There’

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I recently had someone come up to me and tell me that I had inspired them to start their own blog.

To say that I was taken aback, would be an understatement, for several reasons that I shan’t dwell on here. We went on to have an interesting chat on the importance of putting yourself out there.

This is something I have always felt strongly. I have sensed in people, a fundamental fear of putting ourselves out there: whether it is at a personal level in pursuit of romantic and platonic relationships; or professionally in the act of sharing our thoughts and our work.

While the professional market is structured that way; in that we have to sell our abilities, it is not surprising to find many young professionals uncomfortable with the act of having to do this. Putting ourselves out there is often a result of necessity, than choice.

Is it fear of rejection, disguised as humility?

I have often wondered what implications this has for the way our lives pan out.

So, dear reader, thank you for putting yourself out there, and reminding me to do the same. You know who you are!