Your Eight Superpowers: series introduction
This spring, Limeadestand Works is formulating a new set of company missions and foundational values.
Many businesses these days have a "statement of values."
But we ultimately decided that those statements are overused and have reached the level of a cliche. Too often, companies just have those statements as a feel-good exercise, but in practice ignore them. In many cases, those statement of "values" are self-serving and self-congratulatory. They are not very relevant to customers or to the communities they serve.
As such, instead of values, we formulate "eight superpowers."
These superpowers are what makes Limeadestand Works stronger, and they are also the set of superpowers that we wish to impart to our customers and to the world around us. We're here for a culture-making endeavor.
In this article, I'd like to briefly outline what the eight superpowers are, and in future articles, in a rotating fashion, I'd like to address each of the superpowers individually and in depth.
The Eight Superpowers
Today's mass culture has popularized the word "adulting." But what's missing in many people's lives today is not maturity, but it is "muchness." (If there is anything, kids today are constantly bombarded with "adult" culture in their media-saturated lives and unprecedented life challenges, that they are expected to behave like small adults at a much earlier age than ever before.)
What's "muchness"? The Urban Dictionary defines it as:
The innocence and imagination that appear in the hearts of young children. As the children grow older, they become more mature and gain responsibilities. They lose their muchness.
Think of pre-teen kids or the "tweens." They possess ambition, curiosity, and imaginations -- the attributes they begin to lose as soon as they hit puberty and become conscious of peer pressure, "fitting in," and societal expectations. Often at this age, girls excel far better in school than do boys, because they have been yet to be shoehorned into the patriarchal and heteronormative rules of "womanhood." (These days it is a "politically correct" thing to address teen girls as "young women"; but the less-thought-of side effect of this is an acceleration of the process that undermines one's muchness.)
The Eight Superpowers I present here all challenge us to regain our muchness.
Muchness stands against patriarchy, against ageism (in particular, the exaltation of old age and aging), classism, racism, heterosexism, and other isms that we have accumulated in our subconscious over our lifetime.
Culture-making, that is, a lifelong vocation of creatively transforming cultures to "tend and nourish what is best in human culture" and to "[make] the world more welcoming and thrilling and beautiful" (Andy Crouch, Culture Making: Recovering our creative calling), requires a childlike abilities to both learn and to create. Amy Walsh, of the Bureau of Tactical Imagination, further defines culture-making as a way to "leverage creative processes and human imagination to make a change in their communities" to turn culture into a liberating force, reclaiming our abilities to create a culture from the hands of passive mass consumerism.
These eight superpowers are the elements that hold together the wheel of the muchness.
This is a free-writing exercise. If you have a timer or a stopwatch, set aside 10 minutes and write down your thoughts based on the following prompt:
I am 10 years old and I found a magic that turns me into a superhero. I will:
Recall the time when you were 10 years old if you will. If your childhood really, really sucked, just imagine what a life would be like for a 10-year-old person that you may know, or just visualize yourself having what you think of as an ideal childhood. Maybe you are at school, in a classroom with your friends; or maybe you are at recess running as fast and climbing as high; or maybe you imagine a fun summer day splashing in a swimming pool. Don't think too much.
You may be pleasantly surprised by what you will write.
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