So what is a fennel? And what does it have to do with anything?
Let me be completely honest with you. Back when I was only thinking of this project, I wanted to give it a good name. Something memorable and cool to pronounce, but also with a story behind it. A symbol, an idea behind the name I could explain. So I figured ancient Greece might be a good place to look for it.
Prometheus was always one of my favourite myths. In the story, Mr. P. steals the heavenly fire from Zeus and gives it to mortal men, thus enabling the progress of civilisation. Continuing this imagery, in the western culture fire has been a symbol of knowledge, creation, life, and also a logo of countless companies, projects, and applications, including Tinder. Because of this, I thought it wouldn’t be very original to use fire as a symbol. Luckily, Sneaky P didn’t just take the fire and put it into his pocket. He stored it inside a plant called fennel. I’m not sure how you put fire into a plant, but this was the kind of symbol I needed.
In the 21st century Western world, we are no longer concerned with survival in this existential sense. Our relationship with our environment is not as much of physical, but of social nature. The family we are born in, schools, groups of friends, sports teams, organisations, universities, workplaces, the family we create, local communities – these our our natural habitats now. In these environments we observe, we listen, play and learn. These environments shape us, but through active participation, when we speak and act, we also change and shape our environments.Fire is such a potent symbol for a reason. To the human ancestors in the early days of history, it was a means not only of survival, but of improving their conditions, making their life more viable as well as more pleasurable. They could cook using fire, defend themselves better, it kept them warm and it was something for everyone to gather around in the evening. By being able to create fire when they needed it, they could bring a piece of the unforgiving nature under their control and bend it a little bit the way it was useful for them. It meant having a say in the world around them.
It goes without saying that words don’t count if your acts contradict them, but it is incredible how much you can achieve with words. You can make someone’s day by telling what you admire about them. With carefully chosen words you can inspire someone or motivate them. You can deliver a great presentation to raise awareness of an issue you hold dear or you can stop a fight between two people who fail to listen to each other. It’s simple: we speak and interact every day. The moment you spoke, you bent, or if you will, you changed the world a tiny little bit. You left your mark on it. Now, the question is, what kind of a mark did you leave? Did you make someone’s day better or offended them? Is this person going to be happy to see you again or avoid you?
Communication skills are our fire. To foster, practice and learn to use them is our fennel – it’s the way we get a say in the world around us.