Mess In Perspective
We’re taught at a very early age that ‘messiness’ is a negative attribute, trait and/or characteristic. On the surface, ‘messy’ is often associated with negative experiences, situations and aesthetic qualities that are generally perceived as anything but innocuous — Think contentious debates, acrimonious divorces, and cluttered spaces. In many cases, we often hear/see the word and immediately think of ‘messy’ as befitting that of a nefarious villain that overwhelms our senses and causes anxiety, stress and a cornucopia of other unwholesome feelings and emotions. But then all of this presupposes that ‘messy’ has zero benefit or purpose in today’s volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. I would call that absolutist thinking. ‘Mess’ is a matter of perspective that can serve us well, especially when we think of ‘messiness’ as a vehicle that can help us explore the unknown, incite a growth mindset, unleash creativity, and literally transform our lives for the better. As Lee Bowie, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, said during his address at Mount Holyoke College’s 2003 commencement:
“Right now as you are about to graduate, I want to leave you with the contrarian idea that messiness is a virtue — a habit to be cultivated and nurtured, a prerequisite for moral and intellectual flourishing. And I will exhort you to be more messy.”
Moving towards 2022, I implore you to view ‘messy’ through a different lens, in a positive light, and appreciate the beauty and magic of ‘mess’ in our lives, personally, professionally and artistically.
<M>ake <E>veryday <S>omething <S>pecial <Y>ES!