Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Good, the Great, and the Reality

Gorgeous isn't it? 
This photo was taken at the tip top of Piazzale Michelangelo and for the first time ever, I stopped thinking, and simply felt. The orange clay tile roofs, the tall 5 story apartment buildings, the brown Arno river, the heavy clouds caressing the top of the mountains.....not your typical LA (<3), Chicago, or New York skyline, but I'd be out of my mind if I didn't appreciate the beauty and reality of this image. 
"Everyone may be underwater, but art always remains"
The perception of this breathtaking panoramic shares one story, however reality shares another. Example: In business, when a firm positions itself among its competitors, it perceives itself in a certain light based on its strategy, mission statement, values, and competitive advantage. Consumers, however, may shed a different light and reveal an unknown truth about the company, resulting in a harmful and uncomfortable identity gap. This becomes problematic when the firm remains in this position and does nothing to address the feedback and bridge the gap.  
The reality is, in this monumental city, there are pockets in streets where men hiss and meow at women as they pass along simply trying to get from point A -> B. In the city center, gypsies work intricately in teams, find the weakest tourist with a map in one hand, iPhone 5s in another,...and execute the infamous pickpocket. In my bank account, there are lingering negative side effects of the appreciating euro against the dollar, and still, a girl's gotta eat. The reality is, this darling city I cherish so much does have a dark side, just like everything else. I don't shove it under the rug or become numb to it, instead, I try to understand and navigate around it while bridging the gap between my old perception and the reality of it all. 
Despite the uncertainty, I'm not afraid. I can look beyond the creepy men hissing and high unemployment rates just to embrace the street art, new friendships, live musicians, rich history, and spunky fashion professionals. 
Whether it's College Dropout blasting through my ear buds, Mocking Jay fresh on my mind, or the discussion in class about large profitable retailers partnering with unethical suppliers (My professor shared a story about a site visit where the factory owner, wearing gold chains, an oversized runway watch, and a pompous personality openly admitted that most of this employees don't make it past age 30!), I'm just now realizing how much I simply do not know about the world......challenge accepted. 
With nothing but rain splashing my windows these past 3 weeks, blue skies were bound to come along. Pisa this past Sunday was great, but the reality of today is even better....Gorgeous isn't it?

- Eli