On Social Design

one life: make money to save yourself; make art to save the world

I’m sitting here on my bed with my 3 year-old Apple Powerbook — one of the old ones that has no Intel chip or Super Drive. I’ve forgotten how old I’ve become. I was in school with so much drive for social design. I must admit though, my drive made me super aggressive. Not very attractive. Is it?

I’m unemployed by choice at the moment.

Oh my! Unemployed? That’s such a disgrace to my education and my strive for being great. What a failure, right?

Sure. Why not call it a failure? I’m so tired of thinking that I’ve got the final answer and living up to my own super expectations. I haven’t been able to sleep well because of all this “design” thinking. The internet and my stupid laptop make it so easy for me to forget who I am. I’ve had so much of good and bad in my life and lost sense of what is important for my health and well-being.

I never wanted to save the world. I have no idea where it suddenly came from. Maybe because I was angry at everyone. As if I knew something that others didn’t and I would hide and pretend like I didn’t think I was better than everyone else. Maybe all I really wanted was a companion, to really get it, and do it with me; to save the world together and use the internet to spread it.

I’m lost.

Because after all that I have done, after standing up for what I believed was right, I admit that I’m a selfish girl and everyone else is selfish too, especially the ones that deny their selfishness.

I jumped into a neighbourhood and stood still for a year. I listened to everything. It was chaos. I began to see the design of a local community and how complicated and interconnected it was. I realized that people all matter and every person thinks that they matter more. I started to see what “social” really meant. And I just designed on my way. By design I mean doing things that I was capable of doing.

I’m not going to lie or brag, but I’m a social cat. I love talking to people — from CEOs to the homeless. It’s the most enjoyable thing for me and that was something I only realized after I got out of school. I was more than lost in school, I was free. I could do anything I wanted but knew that I had to figure out the “world” part when I got out of school and I couldn’t waste any time. So speed became me and I hurt myself that way.

No regrets.

I realized that designing networks is all that matters. Networks = people. Connect people and you’ve done social design. And if you really are full of creativity, love and passion like myself, please practice it as an art. Just make art. I don’t know what your art is, but mine is poetry. I feel free when I do it. So, do something that will make you honor yourself. Put your heart out for the world to see. Don’t shove it down people’s throat, don’t say you’re right, don’t make people feel like they’re stupid and please don’t talk about how there is a final answer “somewhere” out there. Make money to save yourself; make art to save the world. You have one life and people care about who you are if you care enough for yourself to craft something beautiful and share it. Art is something you do for free, for yourself, for exploration, for discovery. Art is the universe in your voice.

Who knows?

Maybe you’ll make lots of money with your art one day!

Original article by Ghazaleh Etezal.

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