Be the verb not the noun

Dear ZedTears, Be the verb not the noun

Be the verb, not the noun.png

I came across a talk ‘Perception is the root of all evil by Deji Akingbaje on TEDxMHK. He used the term ‘be the verb, not the noun’ which segued to the point he was making. This led me to another of his talk with the title ‘Be the Verb, Not the Noun. In this talk he clearly stated why ‘Be the verb, not the noun’ formulates his strong philosophy. We become imprisoned by the nouns we choose to define ourselves, and as a result, limiting ourselves and our creativity by this association. Be the verb, not the noun applies to race, nationality, gender, age, religion, social statues, career specialization, etc.

In terms of career specialization, I identify myself as a graphic designer. By so doing, I have come to the realization that, not only do I feel a sense of entrapment, I feel like it limits my innate gift to perform, to paint, draw, act, podcast, take photos, write and so on. These things I have mentioned are also labelled as nouns in career specialization, how ironic. Think about it, a painter, an artist, an illustrator, a photographer, a writer, — you get the point.

The message is to break out from ‘the shackles of human expression’ as Deji puts it. I feel more emboldened when I say ‘hey! I paint, draw, design, rap (maybe), act, podcast, blog, etc’, without using ‘hierarchical nouns’ in this context as described by Deji.  There is no limit to what we can do. We become more proactive when we begin to see ourselves as verbs. We feel miserable to some extend doing the things we have limited ourselves to over and over again. We fall short of realizing our full potential by labelling ourselves as common nouns. Being the verb allows us the power to harness our innate ability to experiment, explore, create, express of geniuses guided by the actions of our instincts, our essence and passion.

I will leave you with this quote from Deji on his view on ‘be the verb’.

“If common sense tells us now that living with passion is the key to leading a successful life, why are so many of us still miserable? Why do we still struggle to live out loud as inventors and pioneers of our creative process? Why do hierarchies, racism and hate even still exist? — what I discovered on my journey is what I now believe to be ‘the shackles of human expression’. For as long as we continue to define ourselves as nouns, — race, nationality, gender, age, religion, career specialization, social statues, — we will never live to our fullest potential.”

Design, Art direction, Post 
By Philip Abang

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