Reasoning Your Way Back from There...

"Most people do not have any reason for living. They just find themselves alive and they go through the motions. They find nothing to be really important, so important that they would put their own lives on the line. They are not willing to die for anything, so they are not willing to live for anything. You want to know the meaning of life? Figure out what you are willing to die for, and then reason your way back from there." - H. Rap Brown

In its own way, this statement reminds me of the Second Habit of Highly Successful People (Stephen Covey) - "Begin with the End in Mind".

Which then puts to mind my own philosophy of producing events - Start with the Strike and Work Your Way Backward.

It all points to the idea that there is, indeed, an end to things.  That, with every project, there will be a punctuation that signals that the sentence is complete.  That a job is only a job if it has an endpoint.  That, whether we want it to or not, Life has its very own "Finis" at the end of the pages.  And the idea is to start with a fictional (only so because it is a prediction of the circumstances of that end rather than the actuality) ending and create a backward timeline to the very moment of NOW.

When I produce an event, I like to start with the fictional audience member's walk-through.  Good sight lines, bathrooms, sound levels?  Backwards.  Parking, ease of directions?  Backwards.  How to buy a ticket, how'd they hear about it, what was compelling about the info they got?

I go all the way back and try to plan benchmarks to meet along the way.  There are always unexpected bumps and unforeseen stumbles along the forward path but this approach gives me the ability to almost predict my success or failure in steps - at least in terms of logistical structure, right?

In looking at the Covey Habit, the idea is to take that concept and apply it to your life.  Imagine a funeral - yours - complete with eulogies.  What do you want the people to remember you for?  Generosity?  Sexual Prowess?  Overwhelming ideological stupidity?  Then you start, right now, being more generous, learning the positions of the Kama Sutra, and join the TeaBillies.

I used to have my eighth grade students do the Covey exercise.  It's a tad morbid, thinking about your own funeral as a 13-year old, but the kids I taught were surrounded by gang violence and uncles who had died at the ripe old age of 22, so it wasn't that much of a stretch.

Which brings me to H. Rap Brown.

There are a LOT of things out there worth putting our lives on the line for.  Our families, #BlackLivesMatter, gun control, economic inequity, food scarcity, combating misogyny, protecting the environment, the list is exhaustive.  And perhaps being willing to die for these things is an extreme most are unwilling to leap in to.  On the other hand, perhaps there's more to it than simply professing belief in something you deem important.  Perhaps it is about at least - I mean, at fucking LEAST - going out on a limb and doing more than commenting on Facebook or favoriting a tweet.

"Most people do not have any reason for tweeting. They just find themselves alive and they go through the motions. They find nothing to be really important, so important that they would put their own tweets on the line. They are not willing to tweet for anything, so they are not willing to live for anything. You want to know the meaning of life? Figure out what you are willing to tweet for, and then reason your way back from there."

Doesn't really have the same heft, does it?

How about this:

"Most people do not have any reason for bitching. They just find themselves alive and they go through the motions. They find nothing to be really important, so important that they would put their own complaints on the line. They are not willing to bitch about anything, so they are not willing to live for anything. You want to know the meaning of life? Figure out what you are willing to bitch about, and then reason your way back from there."

Nope.

Hmmmm.  I guess commenting and thumbs upping is insufficient.  And bitching about things isn't really up to snuff either.  Maybe DOING something?  Maybe action?  It's not putting your life on the line - because, face it, the next James Bond movie and the Bears are actually more important than starving children and horrific climate change, right?  #BlackLivesMatter but not as much as the new Taco Bell that serves margueritas.  Reason your way back from that.