James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

02: Bravery vs. Naivety

In art and design, it's easy to compare yourself to others. Open any feed and the self-esteem can be annihilated in one scroll. It seems that everyone in your circle is a raving success, while you're left in the dust. While it's important not to compare to everyone else's highlight reel, many times I struggle with not feeling brave enough. The only way to fight fear is to fight back, hustle harder, rise and grindâ„¢...right?

When I was younger, meaning when I was 10 years old, I made some big choices. Big choices in my adolescent brain involved climbing trees, jumping large rocks on a bike, and playing tackle football in the snow. I knew danger was in my face but did these things because everyone else was doing it. You could say I was naive, unaware of the bruises I would get from falling out of trees, scrapes caused by bike accidents, or tears in my eyes from being tackled too hard during football. You could also say I was brave, because I saw these things coming--knowing that danger was in my horizon.

I got into an interesting Twitter conversation on bravery vs. naivety with Justin Simmons and Jayson Shenk .

Justin stated some things that really resonated to me:
"I think the definition of bravery is acting without fear of the outcome...defined by preparation, ready to face danger".
-Sourced from this and this.

Jayson had an interesting point comparing the two:
"Naivety to me is "Wow, I had no idea." Bravery is "I knew the risks and accepted them to go forward.""
-Sourced from this.

Comparing those experiences of my 10 year old self to my current anxiety of starting new projects and revisiting old ones, it may be a good idea to take a dose of bravery with a hint of naivety. So I'm curious, what do you find to be the difference between bravery and naivety? Is there anything you wish to be more brave at? Let me know by hitting reply. I'll share some of my favorite responses with you next week. These could be some great things to think about before the holidays.

What did I find interesting this week?

1) Learn to Code Switch Before You Learn to Code: In wake of the Hour of Code initiative, Anil Dash discusses the unfair disadvantages in the design and tech industry, how to approach them, and how to work towards changing it.

2) Before '10 Day': Exploring Chance The Rapper's Early Career: One of my favorite artists, Chance The Rapper, had an in-depth write up on his early career by Katie Karpowicz. A definite must read on his ambition and curiosity.

3) Work Life: Trenton Walton discusses how we usually show one side of ourselves online, and the positives and negatives behind it.

4) People Issue 2013: The Chicago Reader put out the best year-end wrap up of people I have seen this year. Such a diverse group of shit-starters in Chicago in all aspects. They really did their research on this one.

5) 2013: The Year 'the Stream' Crested: An amazing essay from Alexis C. Madrigal on the current trend of the "infinite-scroll news feed" being a limited view on how we should be consuming information online.

Thanks for reading and see you next week,

-James

James T. Green