You see my passion in life is what I choose to call "Cross-Pollination". This is nothing sexual but has instead to do with the intermingling of ideas, disciplines, cultures, arts, design & hobbies, or in other words Cross-Pollination!
Let me explain. Life was so easy when I was 13 years old. I knew it all! Or at least I thought so!! Little did I know. And now several decades later I am just starting to realize how much there is to know and how EVERYTHING is related!! When I look at the world I see most people constrained in vertical columns defined by things like their job descriptions, their culture, their religion, their socio-economic status, their communication ability and so on. I think that where as these things are important in one's life we cannot let them dictate the boundaries of our being and connection to others.
Welcome to Cross-Pollination! Cross-Pollination is where we allow ourselves to explore and become knowledgeable about the unknown. Think Leonardo da Vinci. What was he? An artist, an architect, an engineer, an inventor. His Cross-pollination of fields of endeavor led to artistic brilliance and ground-breaking inventions. We discuss schools and education. The importance of the S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering & math) education initiative while ignoring or minimizing the potential of the S.T.E.A.M. (science, technology, engineering, ARTS & math) education alternative! Maybe that is too harsh a judgment. At issue here is the fact that those promoting S.T.E.M. education are too focused on the the promotion of S.T.E.M. to spend effort to see beyond. As someone said in 1921, "The hiker sees the mountain clearest from the distance." (K. Gibran - The Prophet). Although it is good to be focused it is also good to step back and view the whole picture or at the very least to be able to look beyond our own discipline for innovative ideas that might be garnered from other pursuits.
N.A.S.A. did this when designing space ship solar panels. They incorporated the Japanese art of Origami into the design of their Space craft Solar Panels! I thought it interesting that the folks who design Web Pages and services like Twitter and Facebook consult with and borrow from the research of Neuro-Scientists and Behavioral Psychologists when designing Web Pages. They use the four step 'Trigger, Action, Reward, Follow-up Investment' strategy to get you to 'come back'. A similar psychology is used to encourage players of slot machines to keep inserting coins and pulling levers!! Did you know that Samuel Morse was an artist prior to inventing Morse Code and the Telegraph?
One might say, "Well this is interesting but it is primarily centered around technology!" Maybe yes and maybe no. Musicians and artist have been borrowing from and engaging in, each other's style and across cultures for centuries! The profession of Chiropractic Science has been sharing ideas and techniques across cultures and around the world for eons. When folks doing calendar calculating (determining the day of the week a particular numerical date falls on) knowledge of history is required to know when the Gregorian Calendar replaced the Julian Calendar in different countries around the world.
And this is not just related to academic or cultural pursuits. Whereas mentoring and setting a 'good' example is expected from us older folks (i.e. we think we know it all based on our experience right?) well just like when I was 13 years old and I knew it all, the unbiased view-point of youth can add a whole new perspective to many ideas, therefore reverse-mentoring is another form of cross-pollination!
Yes, this is my passion, Cross-pollination. It can be the tool and the strategy that will bind us together as humans and ensure a successful future because...
Shui Zhang Chuan Gao! "A rising tide lifts all boats!!