Sunday, 19 July 2009

Welcome to my World

On Wednesday I attended an Urban Soul Poetry Session in Sandton. It's not poetry like that staid stuff read out calmly to people sitting on chairs in deathly silence. Nope, it is performance poetry - also known as Def Poetry or Slam Poetry or Spoken Word. I've been wanting to get involved in this for some time - I often watch spoken word artists on YouTube (I have doted on Rives for years!). It took me about 6-months to track down people involved in the Joburg scene and what a thoroughly enjoyable evening it was.

After the performances I was speaking to Lindile, one of the performers. Great on-stage charm and personality. He's a graphic designer and so we got chatting about the relationship between agencies and their clients. I told him about my Apples and Oranges theory and how people should have appreciation for the work that someone does for them and that because one party trades money for the skills and time of another, it doesn't make the one with the money the 'owner' or 'boss'. Money is just the commodity they trade for a service - of equal value -that they are unable to do themselves (through lack of skill, expertise or time). In my relationship with Pick 'n Pay I trade my money for the products they supply.

Sure, I realise that cold, hard cash is valued above all else; but in reality it is just one product that is traded for another. We all need money to trade others for their services - landlords for a place to stay, Eskom for electricity, grocery stores for food... Your employer trades this versatile product, money, for your time and skills.

One thing I have recently learned is how badly people at agencies are treated by the agency's clients, who wield power over the agency because the agency allows them to have this power - just as a child in a supermarket throwing a tantrum wields power over the parent who gives in to its demands.

Lindile understands this dynamic. He leans back as I talk and says, laughing, "What kind of World you living in?".

I am living in MY WORLD. It is a World where people are considerate of one another. It is a World where time, a valuable commodity, is respected. It is a World where money is but fair trade for a service. It is a World where people appreciate the skills shared by another in order to accomplish a task for their benefit.

And I have chosen to live in this World, which I have the ability to guide and mold through my actions and in the relationships that I build with my clients.

Am I delusional? Perhaps, but it is little concern to me because I'd rather be delusional with an over-inflated optimism in people than to be in that other World where people are devalued and the skills they have gained with time and hard-work are placed below paper product printed with colours and numbers.

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