Janusian, not Martial, Art

To empathize with the familiar,
all we need is to have empathy
before we can realize empathy.

But artists empathize with the unfamiliar,
the unknown,
the uncomfortable.
So do anthropologists.

For them, having empathy is insufficient.
They need to be able to realize empathy,
when it doesn’t do so automatically.

This requires the mercy
of the creative process.

But, just as martial artists cannot will her victory,
we cannot will a realization.
Just as martial artists can only practice
to increase her probability of victory,
We can only practice to increase our probability
of realization.

Except our end isn’t mere victory,
it’s innovation.

This is a Janusian Art,
as Martial is from the Roman God of war, Mars,
and Janusian is from the Roman God of transition, Janus.

Founder Energy Drain

Before founding a company,
it rarely occurs to us
that the thing that will drain so much our energy
will not be the lack of ideas,
or the lack of funding,
but rather the lack of support we feel
from those whom we most expect or desire support.

The paradox is this.

Often times,
these people are doing their best to support.

What’s worse?

They don’t feel appreciated for their support.

In such cases,
the misunderstanding lies
in the misalignment between their intent to support
and the impact of said support.

Until we can empathize with their intention,
and they with their impact on us,
we’ll be left feeling unsupported,
and they feeling unappreciated.

Power with vs Power Against

Here’s something I learned from carpentry.

Wood is wood.

No matter my desire,
it’ll never be metal.

If I must only use wood
to make furniture,
I have no choice, but to
listen to, and
consider its context.

This is not because I’m a good moral person.
It’s just physics.

This doesn’t mean we should do as the wood tells us, though.
In fact, woods don’t speak!
It just reacts to our behavior.

To realize our empathy is to
be creative in our response to the reaction of an “other,”
like wood,
so as to flow with them,
as one,
like water.

It’s when we’re in such state of togetherness
that we can use our power
with each other,
instead of
against each other.

but possible
through practice.

Two Kinds of Sacrifice

There are two kinds of sacrifice.

The kind that feels like one.
The kind that doesn’t.

Sometimes we’re willing to lose what other people judge as “precious.”
because it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice to us,
because we feel it’s worth it.
They may not be able to understand why,
but we do it anyway.

Other times, we’re unwilling to lose what other people judge as “trivial.”
because it does feel like a sacrifice to us,
because we feel it’s not worth it.
They may negatively judge us,
but we stand firm.

To think of loss and value
as something that can be understood and appreciated
without taking into account the emotional component
is to misunderstand and to misjudge
the human condition.