We've worked hard at Medici University to create a university free of rules. A university without a thick catalogs of programs designed by other people. MU is the university that puts you in control. MU's mission is to empower you the learner to create your own program. To give you the freedom and responsibility to learn what's important for your personal journey.
No catalog. No thick rule book.
Still, no rules at all is chaos. So today I'd like to offer 5 simple rules for participating at MU:
- Be Kind
- Fast is Good
- Slow is Better
- Say Yes
- Do You
1. Be Kind
I think "the golden rule," do unto others as you would have them do unto you, isn't quite good enough. We have many diverse learners here at MU. Don't subject others to what you like if they're uncomfortable with it. Treat everyone on campus with respect, and in whatever way they want to be treated. Please don't be sarcastic or push around someone who doesn't want that.
Please be tolerant. Accept people for who they are. Don't hold a grudge.
We've already had 2 learners1 leave MU because of the way another person on campus treated them. Was the person too sensitive? Is that a small percentage on a busy campus? Perhaps. Doesn't matter. It's a failure and a violation of everything we hope to achieve here.
The flip side is also true. If someone's speech or actions make you uncomfortable, walk away. Don't take that bait! People are wrong on the Internet every day. You don't have to reply to them all. Avoid drama. Don't waste your time being offended. Just move on to people and projects that are productive for you.
2. Fast is Good
Plenty of MU Learners aren't "builders". We have writers who like pastoral gardens to work in, photographers who need functional studios, and many others. Still, I'd like to encourage all of us to take inspiration from Learners like Wilmer and Neeva who seem to be so facile in their studios. They constantly make new work. Quick pieces that carry the artist's own indelible sensibility. I do love to see our builders constantly putting up new work, or a photographer like Fanny making so much work.
I know as a writer it's easy to get stuck. Remember it doesn't always have to be a novel! Write short! Write fast! And remember that "blogs" aren't restricted to fashion or opinion or politics! "Blogs" are a great place to share poems, short stories, and even novels. Astrid & Art would love to feature your work at MU / Stories and you can also get some nice feedback by making your work public sooner rather than later. "Agile" has been a big CS buzzword for a long time, and maybe it's time to apply it to writing. BTW, Ryan recently listed some nice WordPress.com Free Themes for Writers!
And whether you're writing with WordPress, photographing with Flickr, or anything else, be sure we're listing your URLs on MU / URLopolis! If you're not there - leave your links in the comments below!
3. Slow is Better
I do think there are a lot of times we should be less hesitant, less overwrought, and just go for it! But a big guiding principle of MU is to slow down. IRL cars are fast. But pedestrians create the life of the street in ways cars never can. It's the reason that MU is no-fly. Of course flying is faster and easier. But pedestrians create the life of the campus in ways flying never can. Cars & flying both exist to let you skip the city or campus and just get to one place. A walk is a chance to see art and encounter people.
Do your best to not be in a hurry. Take the time to actually take a walk. Be on campus. Say hi to people. Look at their art. If you see something interesting and the artist isn't around, just right-click one of their prims, check the owner, and IM them!
We're all in such a hurry. Time is priceless. And scarce. But try to be generous with it. If you love other people's art, other people will love your art, I promise.
4. Say Yes
As with Slow, Saying Yes is just about the greatest gift there is. Give it often. Did someone make a small request? A ridiculously large one? Maybe you can do it. What if you said Yes?
If someone offers you a bite of their food, don't worry about whether you like that item or not, just appreciate that they've offered a way to make a connection with you. Don't snub the offer! Give it a taste! If there's a way to teach, or help, or collaborate with a fellow learner, go for it!
5. Do You
As MU's art theory boy Hennessy Youngman is fond of saying,
Another buzzword of our time is "authentic". It's a messy word. Yes, authenticity can be performed! But just because it's possible to fake authenticity, doesn't mean that doing it for real isn't as important as it gets. You might be able to fool me, but I hope you don't fool yourself.
Don't let your life or work be guided down some inauthentic path. For sure be open to change, experimentation, and diversity! But do be your authentic self. If you do you you'll always be great. Don't waste even a second apologizing for who you are or what you have or have not done in the past. Sieze this moment!
Be your authentic self. Right here. Right now. We can't wait!
Happy May Everyone!
2 MU learners specifically left because of an issue with another MU learner. 2 more didn't say it in so many words, but appear to have left for similar reasons. ↩
Thank you to these artists for enabling social production by using a Creative Commons license on Flickr:
- In the end, only kindness matters by Jennifer
- Determination - Barrel Racing - Parada del Sol Rodeo by Alan English
- Slow Sunday I Should Have Gone On March Break by Oona Kicker
- Yes by Ancient History
- Smile Sweetie!! by Libelul