Saturday, September 10, 2005

We are what we think

We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care for people will hear them and be influenced by them for good or ill.
You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
All things appear and disappear because of the concurrence of causes and conditions. Nothing ever exists entirely alone; everything is in relation to everything else.
Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense.

Friday, September 09, 2005

My daily miracles

Our day is full of events that passed by unnoticed. I guess it is one of the trades for living in a modern society where our persona is being presented with thousand of stimuly per second.
I got to realize that the price to pay for it is way greater than I bargain for, so whenever possible; mostly when I can get myself to remember (and that is not as often as I whished), I try to be aware of every single thing that is happening in the moment, right now, right here.

This is a basic principle of zen, and meditation among other practice proves to be a way to accomplish it. But out of my 45 minutes of daily sitting alone and in silence, it becomes too easy getting distracted by thoughts of what happened yesterday or plans of a future that may never come, taking my mind for a trip most of the time out of the present.

Life is full of events, good and bad inviting us to be experienced, and some of these are so powerful that we can’t turn our head or close our eyes and go back to sleep.

Every morning when my two kids; Alexander and Katrina wake up I bring them to my bed (the few times they haven’t done it already before I wake up). Resting my head on the pillow watch them play together with that freshness full of energy that only a good night of sleep can give them.

Katrina, two years old, always hugs her older brother whom just turned five. She is a petite blonde angel that wraps her little arms around her beloved sibling and kisses him on the face with one of those smiles that makes everybody melt. Alexander lets her do with the patient of a mother dog with her puppies and hugs her back being already aware of how fragile his little sister is.

While they rest on each other arms for a few seconds, and right before the game of jumping on the bed or hiding under the blankets takes over, I find one of these invitations of life to enjoy the present moment I mentioned before.
It would be impossible to refuse. Not even blind could I missed the magic and beauty of this miracle. Whithout trying to analyze the feeling, or go into reflection that would take me away from that very second, I keep my head on the pillow and live the moment and thank life for giving me not only this two amazing kids but the ability to see the beauty on everything around me.

I can’t hardly think about a better way to wake up to a new day.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Respect for the designers

Reading today my Communication Arts issue (September October) I found an article by Neil French titled: "Be Polite, Nod Your Head, and Keep Out of My Way", where French gives agencies advice for dealing with junior clients.

Putting on a side the title; too harsh for my taste, and the fact that the article is directed to advertising agencies, I found a great similitude between the situations that are describe in it and the ones I’ve been living (if not suffering) for the past seven years.

Without getting into the content of this article, two points on it called my attention probably because of how many times I’ve seen them happening at the companies I’ve worked for.

1. The first one is the concept of “submitting a project”.
Neil French says: “If ever there was a word designed specifically for the purpose of getting work rejected, that must be it.”

Since big part of the latest strategies to get new clients has been submitting proposals and participating on concourses; where several studios or agencies compete for the account, and developing if not the total campaign at least big part of it free of charge, clients have become used to the idea of receiving submissions in the form of finalized comps, developed ideas and complete projects that are understood as free goodies, most of the time to be rejected.

2. The second is the concept “serving the client”.

French says: “Servants are useful but not essential, can be changed at will, and treated with condescension or brutality, according to whim. They are not the folk you turn for advise, or help in adversity. And you take care of pay them as little as possible”.

Not surprise some clients never pay for the projects we developed for them.

Think what you want, do what you think… some of us still hope this profession will get the respect that deserves.