Work/Life Balance: What Does Quadrophenia Mean Anyway?
09 Oct 2013
Posted by Jennifer Mooney
There are three important disclosures necessary:
- Quadrophenia, released by The Who in 1973 is often said to be one of the top 100 British releases of all time.
- I am a communications “expert” with an MA in Psychology. This means I might be a hack – but also – I might know something about human behavior. Maybe.
- Nothing in the below should be construed as insensitive to psychological disorders as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM.) This is simply the definition of Quadrophenia in Wikipedia. And, if we can’t rely on Wikipedia – then who are we as a people?
The name is a variation on the popular usage of the medical diagnostic term schizophrenia as dissociative identity disorder. to reflect the four distinct personalities of Jimmy, the opera’s protagonist – each said to represent the personality of one member of The Who. At the same time, the title is a play on the term quadraphonic sound. then a recent invention. Composer Pete Townshend has said: “The whole conception of Quadrophenia was geared to quadraphonic, but in a creative sort of way. I mean I wanted themes to sort of emerge from corners. So you start to get the sense of the fourness being literally speaker for speaker.”
 [ unreliable source
The recent Ad Club Social Week in Soiree appeared to be an event in contrasts. The agenda was filled with top-flight professional speakers aligned with those who talked things like work life balance.
Work life balance has been the white noise of our lives.
Achieve balance. Somehow. Do it.
Quadrophenia while rife with cacophony sucks the listener into its drama while releasing us to
a place of beauty and possibly ease. Kind of like work life balance. If there ever is such a thing?
Raising kids matters. There is no client more important. Launching those youngsters into the world as responsible grownups ensures a prosperous and better world for our clients.
Is there anything that matters more?
And how easy it is to forget?
A client of mine launched an initiative (over 25 year’s ago) called “The Hood is Bigger Than You Think .” In 1995 she wrote:
Bring it together. Respect is the link
The ‘hood is bigger than you think.
Step to this, Sisters and brothers
Let’s deliberate on respect for others. You’re out there rolling with your crew,
You respect them; they give it up to you.
Importantly, we are all in this thing together. It’s all connected.
And in the middle of the noise in the neighborhood and the music of The Who – how we coalesce as a people is what counts – or maybe gets us closer to heaven.
Our clients need work life balance for themselves and for us. Void the balance creates a planet is which none of us prosper.
So cohorts, friends and those of you who craft communications for a living – know that intent is simply not enough.
Your example to the world of doing right and doing good leads to doing well. The person you are likely matters as much as the work that you do. Balance is not what happens before 8 am and after 6 pm. It’s how we align across time and circumstance.
Or as The Who sang:
It’s you who feels the pain.
It’s you who feels the shame.
And like Quadrophenia mandates, it comes from all corners.