hold onto your cheese

Categories: Blog

Why are we so uncomfortable with cheese?

I’m not talking about the cheddar sitting in your fridge.

I’m talking about the hippity dippity declaration of love as a social practice that often gets the side-eye depending on the context.

Talking about love as a policy is like stumbling on a Dodo clip of a bullmastiff chumming it up with a baby duck. It’s cute, and stirs in you a glimmer of hope (and tears) you didn’t realize you needed until then, but, let’s be real, if you brought a furry friend home, Bruiser would certainly have it for lunch.

When I risk talking about love in the context of business and organizational structures, I risk making people uncomfortable and I’m compelled to apologize, all because of its unfair association with the stinky idealism of fermented milk.

But as our small team embarks on this mammoth journey during a pandemic – evaluating who we want to be, exploring our ‘why’, and asking ourselves what kind of model benefits our community – I can’t stop thinking about words like “love”. (Insert apology here)

What if we consider the fact that love is essential to a sustainable future? What would it look like if everything we did in our organizations was done with the undeniable truth that, as humans, we thrive when we love and are loved?

These kinds of ideas are beautifully talked about in nuanced ways in this panel called Rethinking the Structures hosted by the folks at Articule. (Transcript available for download here)

Artist Max Ferguson, at one point apologizes for “being cheesy” after elegantly articulating what I interpreted as love manifested by mega cheese ball ideas like “light” and “healing” in our organizations, the need for more compassionate spaces and a willingness to sit with discomfort.

The moderator responded with the advice her thesis advisor gave her that very morning.

“Hold onto your cheesiness”. She said, “Claim it as an important feminist methodology”.

Max Ferguson: “Put it on a bumper sticker. Never let it go. Always.”