From a very young age, I was taught that the highest standard of knowledge is science. Anything that can be proven from first principles is the irrefutable truth, and logic is the pinnacle of human achievement.At school, the lessons focused either on rote memorization (History, certain fields of science) or on logic and thinking your way to a conclusion.
Both of these are important aspects of life, but going through schooling, you’d be forgiven that our cerebral selves are the perfect representation of what life is. Objectively and simply, that just isn’t the case.
Both within and without the workplace, the most meaningful successes I’ve had have been emotional; shared moments of vulnerability. Helping someone achieve something they didn’t think possible. A deep sense of presence for others and being cared for when the going gets tough.
In a life without space for imperfection, there’s no place for beauty.
No amount of thinking or logic can conjure the things that really matter. Interpersonal connection, love, the deep drives and desires that ultimately makes life worth living. Put differently: Life is lived in the emotional realm.
In my life as a teacher of photography, I have a canned speech about how great photographers are a combination of technical skills (Getting the camera to do what you want) and creative expression (storytelling). If you only have the technical expertise, you’re a scientific photographer or a documentarian. Technically good photos that are utterly devoid of character. If you only have the creative eye, you’re a pubescent poet: So many stories to tell, so raging with hormones that you can’t pinpoint the exact story you’re trying to tell, so you try to tell them all at once, and your audience misses the point.
Our brains are useless here; true passion can only exist in the emotional realm.