Amit Kapoor
Crafting Visual Stories with Data

Be a Gardner, Be a Sculptor

Act with Detached Engagement.

Be a gardner. Sow a hundred seeds out there. Seeds of ideas (or relationships). These seeds are delicate. They need all my help to take roots. Nurturing them requires constant action and engagement. I can not leave them alone and let them become dry. But, I also cannot dictate how they will grow and what they will eventually become. Some may sprout but then wither away and make me sad. Others will flower and bring that smile on my face. All I can do, is to be there along for the journey.

Be a sculptor. Start with a lump of clay. Find that one idea (or relationship) that I have been dreaming about all along. Then close my eyes and visualise what I want it to look like. And then start to sculpt it. Remove what is not making sense. Add back what does. Do not let it get dry. It may break but do not get disheartened. Just start back again. And eventually I will have a sculpture. It will not look exactly like what I visualised at the start. But both the idea and I would have changed along the journey.

They both require me to get my hands dirty. I can never say, I don’t have enough time to do this. They both require immense patience and perseverance. And even more than that, they require detached engagement — to be engaged in doing the effort, but to be detached from the results.

One is expansion, the other is contraction. One is play, the other is focus. There is probably both correlation and causation between them. The real knowledge is to be aware, when to become a gardner and when to become a sculptor.

25 August 2013