ACTION IS CHARACTER

She wanted to escape. She planned the escape.
Not too far away, just a simple family visit to get back to the roots, re-fresh the thoughts and re-fuel the energy.
The bus was leaving at 9 am and guess who woke up at 8.30!? But she managed.
The weather was shit and she felt like shit, super-sleepy, greasy haired and no make up. Luckily, the bus trip was long enough to freshen up – some powder here and there, a touch on black mascara, and a splash of a spicy signature fragrance. As the morning started to fade away, first rays of sunshine appeared and the mood was getting all right. It was this morning full of power. Will-power. Those were the mornings being on the road, alone, with her thoughts. Thoughts and observations, and that never-ending sharp environment detection.
It was a power-therapy morning. It was a sober view on the beings and doings, people and values, the surroundings. It was evaluation.
Outside was freezing, the frosty winter-air played back to back with warm rays of sunshine. A creative balance. She put on her headphones on and tuned in the new Ghettoblaster show. Sunshine, good music and good thoughts – that was all what she needed to feel happy. To feel alive, to feel real again. 

. . .

 

See, our whole culture is constructed upon narratives like this. Due to the growing number of narratives thriving around us, the human being is losing his sense of the moment, the here and now, his animal presence and perception… Now think.
Thinking.
Over-thinking.
Constant goal-setting and imagining the things, situations, possibilities, characters, maybe even better opportunities. But that’s all not real and might even never become a reality.

Bummer.
What a drag, right!? The fail of the high expectations…
And suddenly, the story of our life, the real narrative becomes boring. Too ordinary, too gray. Only one shade of gray instead of fifty. Too everyday. Too confined and limited. Although limits set the rules, which to play by. And to be honest, every day offers us something special and remarkable, something worth remembering, cherishing and being happy about. And it takes only time and effort to recognize those little things of everyday life.

The little things count. The moments that make us feel happy and love the life that we’re living. I had a moment at work, while passing the buzzling restaurant side. At a certain time of the day, the sun shines just right through the flowers and our yellow glass wall so that everything and everybody swims in the waves of warm sunshiny hues, even if it’s freezing outside. So it was that time of the day and the sun was shining and we had a full-house. I was rushing towards the bar to grab a glass of water and just glimpsed towards the restaurant. There was a family and a girl-child, about 1 year old, sitting and observing her surroundings. The moment she looked at me, the bright sunrays shined through her pure blond hair and her frank blue eyes, that were smiling and telling me more than her cute little mouth. I think this moment made my day. Not the overall success while organizing the events and my writings being approved – the casual multi-tasking. But just this moment, lasting barely for half-a-minute. It still haunts me. The moment after which you start to recognize and appreciate more the simple pleasures and moments that everyday life offers us. These moments shouldn’t get lost, they should be recorded and reminded to one’s self… When the hard times hit.

 

 

Leo Buscaglia said once, that too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.

That’s true.

Life’s too short, and what really makes life longer is the understanding that we are making history from the moment we get up in the morning till we go to bed at night. Its also not only the things that we do, it’s also the things we don’t do.

We have a choice, which is entirely ours. Freedom is a mental state.

Happiness too. And small actions are important, our daily routines, the establishments of our values. It’s totally up to us to decide what we do, what we think (or not) and who we are.

And it’s not about the social status, online profiles or new Instagram photos. That’s all an online culture constructed identities and symbolic narratives that we surround ourselves with. We operate upon signs and surround ourselves with all kinds of different symbol systems. Which is okay, okay until we read and interpret them right, understand the signs. And what is even more important – to know when and how to turn it all off. Step out and be with our real self. One on one, frankly in contact.

 

 

What’s important in life is the contact, the real life, presence, real emotions and impressions, real friends and family… The family. Family has power. Families are different, it can be our father and mother, brothers and sisters, family can consist of a bunch of close friends. The people. Our people. Our community and support. The support that money cannot buy. Support and respect. And gratefulness. Not the image, the role… the cool and hip places we all work at, or the parties we attend and talk sophisticated design and swag talks. Business… Business is always about being all nice, nice business. But nice isn’t enough considering the short lifetime given to us. Nice won’t make us stand.

And if you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.

So let’s not fail anymore and remember that what’s really important is the real life contacts and real life actions. As my all-time favorite quote goes: “Action is character.” by F. Scott Fitzgerald

 

Written by Julia Ahtijainen