The secret gestures and signs that give our lives meaning
Posted October 9, 2009on:
Do you wear a hat? Do you wear a tie?
I knew someone once, who would put on a hat if he wasn’t wearing a tie. He said you only get taken seriously if you wear a hat or tie.
I never quite got that. But it is clear that little things are loaded with cultural meaning.
The Parker pen in the shirt pocket that says : “I need a pen at all times. I sign things. I am a manager. Despite the casual clothes. Despite the grease on my hands. I am in charge here.”
The laptop that says “You should find out who I am. My real authority comes from the other end of the wireless connection.”
The payment by cash which says “I am not an employee. I don’t have to use a swipe card to access my salary.”
What do you use to signal to people who you are?
Or rather, what things make you anxious if you do or do not do, or have or do not have them?
Anxiety = importance = meaning
We are only anxious when our place in the world is threatened.
Which place are you seeking that little gesture or symbol seeking?
Who would you be without that place?
Too scary to answer. The meaning of our lives does make us anxious.