A wonderful piece of writing by Russell Davies for one of my favourite hometown companies Howies.
When the howies lot said the theme for this catalogue was Positive Energy my heart sank.
I’m a big howies fan, I wouldn’t be writing this otherwise. And you probably are too, or you wouldn’t be reading it. But there’s a hippybobbins side to them which bugs me a bit.
I know it’s part of their Cardigan charm but it still has me grinding my teeth occasionally.
And ‘Positive Energy’ is a perfect example.
It brings to mind images of smiley, bobbleheads, changing the world with their dreams and crystals. Ugh.
And howies aren’t really like that. I don’t think they believe in Positive Energy at all, they believe in Positive Work.
Let me take you back to your school physics: Energy is very simply defined, it’s the capacity for doing Work. And Work is Force and Movement. (I’m simplifying horribly here.)
Which means Energy is your capacity for doing stuff and Work means you are actually doing it.
That sounds more like howies to me. That sounds more like the people who actually cause stuff to happen in the world. All the people beaming Positive Energy at each other aren’t helping anyone.
They’re getting in the way.
It’s the people drawing, sticking, designing, moving, tidying, sewing, gluing, writing, soldering, coding, filming, making that are causing positive change in the world.
And some of those people get pretty grumpy. They sigh and clump from here to there.
They grunt a lot. They mumble in a Passive Aggressive way about needing a cup of tea.
They stay up late banging their head against a keyboard or a sewing machine. They tend to be dissatisfied with things.
They find fault.
They’re not happy. They moan. They’re angry.
Some of them radiate no Positive Energy at all. But they don’t just sit there. They get up, they make things happen, they fix things which are broken and invent things which need inventing.
Positive Energy’s alright if you’re having a party, but you need Positive Work if you’re going to change the world. Next time howies, let’s do a catalogue about that.