Listen to The Work

I can feel my voice shifting sound from inside me. Earlier this last week it was pulsating with energy as if I were trying to knock a wall down with my words. And now I find it quieting down as if trying to inhale the series of circumstances these past few days and find a comfortable way to sit with them.

I have been busy learning about social entrepreneurship. A buzzword that I've recently started to understand in my efforts to put a little bit of form and structure to this calling I feel I am finally responding to. Yesterday was a marathon. The desire for knowledge flowed and I just kept on collecting and gathering all the information I found. I'm glad there is Google Wave to deposit all these things to. I like the application very much because it is easy to navigate and build discussions on the things I have found.

I am slowly beginning to realize that there may be a bit of sense to the chronology of my life. I had to study in business school for a reason. And this long-standing struggle of being an artist with a more equipped left brain than the right is starting to make sense. I don't want to be "just a writer". I want to contribute more to the world than "just my words".

"You are a community builder. That is your gift. This world needs people like you." Keith Fiveson, a former consultant I worked with told me to my face as we sat outside on the veranda of the foodcourt talking about career opportunities. That moment was an inauguration of sorts. A private induction. From one change catalyst to another.

I spent hours yesterday scouring the internet for different types of social enterprises. I found something significant and resonating with Echoing Green, Skoll Foundation, New York Foundation for the Arts, Artists for Humanity. The first 3 I have come to understand are like investment firms (putting it in the business context) while Artists for Humanity is a social enterprise. However I view them all to be one and the same with different thrusts. I haven't dug in deep on the information I gathered but it looks like I have found my canvass and my palette to start playing with possibilities and channel my creative impulses.

Another organization I found was OrphanIT. A Philippine organization this time and was pretty happy to know that there is one of the sort existing in my country. I read through their resources which I have to say really helped me a lot and came across this definition of social entrepreneurship.
Social entrepreneurs are visionaries, like artists they have the ability to visualize something that doesn’t exist and they will not stop till they have realized their dreams. Social entrepreneurs are just as innovative and solution-oriented as traditional entrepreneurs. They also build bridges; develop a network of relationships and contacts. In addition, they have the ability to communicate an inspiring vision in order to influence and and motivate people around them - partners, team members, volunteers, etc

One of the unique qualities that social entrepreneurs possess is the ability to influence the big picture. According to Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka, “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how to fish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities and refuse to give up.”

Social entrepreneurs are working to solve social problems but they are not just concerned with the problem in hand. They work to bring change to the social dynamics and systems that have created and maintained the problem. They work as catalysts for social transformation; in the short term they will create small changes in the system but these changes will work as pressure points to eventually trigger and cascade larger social transformation in the longer termOne of the unique qualities that social entrepreneurs possess is the ability to influence the big picture. According to Bill Drayton, CEO, chair and founder of Ashoka, “Social entrepreneurs are not content just to give a fish or teach how tofish. They will not rest until they have revolutionized the fishing industry. They are the driven, creative individuals who question the status quo, exploit new opportunities and refuse to give up.”

Social entrepreneurs are working to solve social problems but they are not just concerned with the problem in hand. They work to bring change to the social dynamics and systems that have created and maintained the problem. They work as catalysts for social transformation; in the short term they will create small changes in the system but these changes will work as pressure points to eventually trigger and cascade larger social transformation in the longer term."

I have to play these words over and over again and allow my mind to grasp them as a purpose I am trying to pursue. It is very true that I continue to see myself creating art but given the limited knowledge I have of the fine art or even industrial art medium, I am forced by this limited-ness to pursue something different. Not robbing myself of acknowledging that I still am an artist. Perhaps this identification and affinity is much needed because it helps me make sense why I still have the same creative inclinations. Inclinations that are often seen eccentric in the business environment I am in but is a normal state in other more creative environments.

It is crucial that I understand the logic of social entrepreneurship because it is a fusion of the world I am in to the world I want to belong to. A world that I want to create and add value to.

The longing is great. And impulse is very present that I can taste the flavor of pursuit. I suppose everything I have gone through has taught me how to temper impulses and set form and structure to them as a ritual of discipline. A nightmorn conversation with Adi this morning unearthed a lot of realizations of which I will probably continue to mull about until it takes shape in my mind. For before this post I had only a few words and one thought recurring.

Listen to the work. Listen to the work. Madeleine L'engle's possible mantra as she sat on her desk and faced her own Everest to conquer her own summit of creativity.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Lectio Divina | A Reflection on Yehuda Amichai's "The Amen Stone"

Writing Out Restlessness and Organic Creativity

Believing to See