Do you live in a world of “and”?

While having brunch with one of my favorite people the other day, I learned that her husband is a frequent participant in improv classes. My initial reaction? I laughed. Now don’t get me wrong; I think her husband is brilliant and hilarious, but improve is not on the list of things I’d expect him to do. Honestly, I was impressed with his open-mindedness and willingness to do something a little unusual.

He’s living in the world of AND.

So what is this world I’m talking about? It’s the world of the future.

people-2344401_640Think about how we talk about ourselves when we talk about what we do. It used to be that we were one job: a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a farmer, a technician, a programmer. Now we live in a world where there’s a thing called a “slash” job. For example, you can be a nurse / uber driver.

Think about the evolution of the family. I learned that in discussions of gender we should add the word “plus” to the LBGTQIA letters with the assumption that there will be another letter, we’re just not aware of it yet. That’s an AND statement if I ever heard it.

I was also embroiled in the word “and” the other day when I was asked to write what constituted a “ladybadass.” What I came to realize was that it was the combination of the two words “lady” AND “badass” that manifested the women I was highlighting. To me, Ladybadasses are both:

  • Strong AND gentle
  • Bold AND cautious
  • Harsh AND empathetic
  • Unbreakable AND delicate
  • Hard AND soft
  • Fearless AND afraid
  • Steadfast AND inclusionary

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These are just examples I see clearly today. We’ve only just begun as robotics, machine learning and other more human technologies like AI become part of our world. People going to need to be AND with machines more than they ever have before.

I’m curious, what’s your AND?

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