Monday, September 26, 2016

Experimentalism and empiricism - Part One of Five sequential posts

I’m an experientialist rather than an empiricist. My career and personal life have offered untold opportunity to learn from my encounters. The problem was that, as many in the world, the luxury of taking time out to conduct an empirical analysis of what was happening and why just never emerged. I have, however, learned that the experientialist perspective has a lot of value and this perspective deepens and perhaps gains greater validity as we mature. This is the realization that draws me to undertake a series of blog posts that will connect three major themes in my life – music, leadership, and culture.

Especially in an age where the voices of youth are marginalized and sometimes not taken seriously, I do not equate my advancing age with any deeper realization in life. Anyone can and should own realizations when sufficient time has been taken to dig into our experiences in search for deeper meanings and connections. In an age of complexity greater than any we have experienced before, I strive to use all the critical thinking, comparative perspective, and cross-disciplinary thinking I can muster. Even with a lot of work, the result will be inadequate but I’m striving for “good enough” to be of benefit to any reader and/or me searching to understand.

The realizations I intend to explore reflect three life priorities for me - music, leadership, and culture. Ultimately, the series will be a journey in the discovery of embracing and utilizing my strengths – which I understand to be connective thinking, relational appreciation, big-picture attention, and artistic insight and expression. These are my gifts for better or worse. They have worked for me at many times in my life. On other occasions, these gifts have either been unappreciated or denigrated by others who saw little value in what I had to offer. This is one of the lessons I believe is so important to all of us as growing, developing human beings – don’t deny who you are just because someone else doesn’t embrace your essence or is threatened by it. Temper your response, hold your ground, and do what you can to maintain your uniqueness while still accommodating to individuals and environments where you find yourself. If you finally conclude that a particular environment is hostile, get out as soon as possible!

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