Context Informs Content

view out an airport window

view out an airport window

It’s an often used phrase and its true- context really is what we need to look and listen for. Whether its a conversation or a cultural movement. The context informs the content.

For instance, in a conversation the speaker might be relating a difficult relationship. She identifies a behavior that is the source of their frustration. She is so fixed on the content (the behavior) that she loses perspective of why that behavior is in play (the context).

The behavior usually has its roots in a larger super-set issue, often residing in fear or shame. Address the context and the content takes on a new form. The meaning changes.

Here’s a talk given by Rodney Mullen, a champion skate boarder from the 80’s, at a recent USC TedX conference. He’s an interesting character and a reminder on looking to your surroundings for creative guidance. He leverages his physical environment (context) to evolve his skating tricks (content).

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