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On honing your surroundings



“I am I and my circumstance”, said Spanish Philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset.

Probably his best-known quote, and a rather misunderstood one too.

What is often neglected, forgotten or ignored is the continuation: “and if I do not save it, I do not save myself.”

Against the idea that the self is an individual and separated kernel of truth, he claimed that what surrounds and involves us is what makes us.

That our environment, history and relationships make us who and what we are.

In a world of self-help, self-work and self-care, Ortega reminds us that the focus should be on what is outside of us, first and foremost. What we’re connected to.

A broken system will more often than not lead to broken outcomes. And so will a broken environment.

It’s hard to thrive or achieve what we want when we exist in broken systems, structures and networks.

So it isn’t just about honing a healthier, calmer and more content environment to become healthier, calmer and more content ourselves, but also helping those around us to develop that, too.

Being thoughtful and intentional about our surroundings, vowing to protect, serve and nurture the rest, and accepting life as a creative and caring endeavour.

Cultivating our own garden.


✍ Writing

How to unburden your words

Jason Fox, Medium

A great reminder from content designer Jason Fox that it’s okay to say “words can’t solve that problem.”



📣 Feedback

Accept, reframe, reject

Mandy Brown, A working library

“Giving feedback is difficult and most people are terrifically bad at it,” says leadership coach Mandy Brown. They go on to explain the difference between sh*tty feedback and uncomfortable feedback, and give tips on how to accept, reframe or reject it.



💡 Ideas

I’m a content designer, and I do more than words.

Ben Davies-Romano, Medium

If you thought content design was all about writing, think again. UX writer turned content designer, Ben Davies-Romano lists all the things they do, and how they explain their work to people from other disciplines.



🔮 Trends

The unbearable lightness of Buzzfeed

Mia Sato, The Verge

Buzzfeed built an empire on mining social media and developing a Pulitzer-winning newsroom. A decade on, Mia Sato investigates what happened to the culture-driving media organisation.



💻 Digital

‘It’s discrimination’: millions of Britons frozen out in the digital age

Miles Brignall, The Guardian

The Digital Poverty Alliance estimates there are as many as 11 million people in the UK struggling to deal with tech-only options that have become the new normal in everyday life. With the creep of digital services, what happens when people get left behind?


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