August 16, 2022

Letting go

It’s hard having to submit that occasionally, you just need to let some things go.

We form amazing attachments to all kinds of stuff. Take the current storm in an Oxford Street teacup, the plan to demolish the old Marks & Spencer  (or as my Mum would say ‘Marks n Sparks’. I have no idea how it gained that coinage, it’s hardly a firework-y retail experience) and build a new Marks & Spenser (with added office space, naturally. This isn’t just any store demolition, etc. etc.)

There’s now a rather vociferous campaign stop the demolition and have the building refurbished instead, and while some of the protagonists for this change of direction have understandable concerns based on professional, empirical experience, others are, well, let’s be kind here; Misguided. Maybe that’s a bit unfair? Well, you judge – “I have no special knowledge or insights about the matter. I just wish to help stop a bit of foolishness.”

And anyway, it’s not for me to judge which is the more foolish position. I’d be the bigger fool for assuming other’s motivations. 

But occasionally it’s more than a bit foolhardy to just keeping on keeping on. De-tangling from the attachments you’ve committed to something – a project, a building, a bigger thing – is really hard, especially the deeper you emotionally invested yourself in it. And the only person who can gauge those depths is that person. 

So when you make that call, don’t spend even more emotion on worrying about what others think, because they don’t know.

It’s easy to take pot shots at people’s feelings towards things – and let’s be honest, we’re usually hardly less fair towards people who decide to give up on something. If you’re in the creative service industries, chucking in the towel is virtually a heresy. 

But sometimes, it’s the braver thing to just let it go.

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About Richard Hill

Creative director, writer, designer, illustrator based in the UK with global project experience and consulting skills across sectors.

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