Ode to Semler – Social Rebellion instead of a dick in a centrefold

After almost 6 years of online silence, absence, disinterest or whatever it might be, this blog popped into my mind. An digital place I’d forgotten and replaced with other real-life priorities.

But tonight something happened: the social rebel in me awakened, or at least she shifted  with much fanfare from my subconsciousness to my consciousness. During a debate at a documentary screening concerning the Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler and his extraordinary ideas, this positive, intuitive and empathic analyst kept being pushed back onto the pedestal of visionary. Pro and cons included, the discussion stepped away from the true essence (follow your intuition and act) and became an indistinct and floaty charade of egos. 


How Semler the charmer fell through when bossing around one of his employees. A tyrant in disguise. That Semler forgot to answer our most important question ‘How’ in his staged recital. In the meantime his oh-so-clear-view on his personal Why answer incited the Social Rebel, who inaudible to the crowd shouted out loud:

‘Wake the fuck up and stop nodding as if you agree or to tired to discuss. You are a damn social rebel and you’ve completely forgotten about me! Don’t get caught up in the act of ‘talking about’, don’t get embraced by apathy. Fight, yell, challenge, question and discuss! Disagree to eventually agree! Don’t be fooled by wolves in sheep’s clothing: talking about the newfound power of intuition and wisdom is still kindred to ‘the old myth’ and I’m done believing in it.

Defining the undefinable, intuition, is featherbrain. Don’t get me wrong: Ricardo Semler is one of the most inspiring entrepreneurs of this era. But compulsively decomposing his ideas and dehumanizing him isn’t. In my humble opinion, talking about intuition is like rubbing your dick against Playboys’ centerfold: it’s nice foreplay. And after years of working in whatever discipline that crossed my path, I made a choice: I want my share of social responsibility. A seemingly clear objective. But all of sudden I found myself and possibly 3/4 of the crowd lured back into small talk or an unnecessarily difficult philosophical approach of one man following his intuition. 


Therefore I advocate social activism arising from pluralism, playfulness, disobedience and contrasting opinions. I am no Ricardo, nor is he Mariangela. He is perfect the way he is, as are my mother, my colleague and my students. He leads his organization in an unique way, so should the ‘so called’ innovators that attend these kind of meetings. Some of them do, like speaker Laurens Knoop, who started the School of Life, or an artist that took stand at the mic and advocated curiosity as ‘the cure’. Some of them seemed so desperately in search of a safe way to deal with their (financial) fears that they copy-paste. 

So here are my 34 words of fame: don’t parrot, wake up and rebel. Discover your own truth. Stay critical. Where ever you can. Whenever you can. Anything goes: dare to fail, to play experiment and to get onto your feet again.

When searching for the term Social Rebellion one of the few serious hits that popped up was a reference to the counterculture of the 1960’s. Wikipedia states: As the 1960s progressed, widespread social tensions also developed concerning other issues, and tended to flow along generational lines regarding human sexuality, women’s rights, traditional modes of authority, experimentation with psychoactive drugs, and differing interpretations of the American Dream.

The adjectives might differ, but this is the true essence of my existing: I’m here to cause rebelliousness! So without restraining my structured chaos and committing to an organized regularity, here’s a note to self: I will not repress the social rebel in me! And one to you: come and play with me!

Twitter – @MoreMariangela