As Simba proved to us, we’re just people people who find in dogs the same values we see in our best friends: unending loyalty, selfless attention, a caliber of nonverbal communication that puts even the most well-selected words to shame. A dog’s unyielding curiosity, his purity of heart and of purpose, his unparalleled ability to look up at the world, to look up at us – these we wish for ourselves. Our dogs seem to innately understand the simplest idea about us as people – that all we need to be at our happiest is our favorite people right next to us. And this huge, shaggy, spirited, partially blind golden retriever, for ten wonderful years, made everyone he met just a little more human.
We went down to Mr. Fino’s Spanish class where we usually took a few minutes to watch the news in Spanish and attempt to translate what was going on. But this morning, all we watched was the news, which was some stunning images accompanied by stunned people trying to make sense of what was happening. Some people in our classroom were in tears, some were frantically trying to reach relatives or friends in the northeast, while the rest of us, including me, sat there in silence.
There’s no app for the big decisions in life. I can’t plug this data set into a recommendation algorithm or have some prediction engine tell me what the right decision is or how either path will turn out. Sometimes, oftentimes, one path turns into two and you can only pick one, and those that pretend as if there’s a formula to these questions haven’t ever truly faced them.
Many of the next few blog posts will be my attempts at identifying the problems along the process and dealing with them. I’ll be discussing entrepreneurship, recruiting, networking, fundraising, and of course, building the product itself and getting it out there. And scattered among them will be other random ideas, other stops along the way.
For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give–yes or no, or maybe–
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
After weeks of photo editing, writing text, demo books and publisher-hunting, the final product has hit the presses – my coffee table book, A Young Man Goes West, is finally out!
Reading news makes the exercise a bit more objective, especially with the range of sources I use. The personality at the other end comes through much less, and the human connection is mostly gone. But it’s safe to say most news-watchers don’t have the same experience. A generation or two ago, journalists like Cronkite, Koppel, Russert and Murrow were some of the most revered figures in America. Today, Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Olbermann, Maddow, Stewart and Colbert probably reach more people than Couric, Williams, Gibson and the CNN army.
For a few years now, my life had been committed and planned, every weekday subject to a schedule, every trail previously blazed. Nurturing resumes and meeting expectations doesn’t leave much room for really losing yourself and finding your way back. When the opportunity came to take a big fat break from all that, I took it.
As I drove down 502 and then turned onto 84, I’d been listening to one of the podcasts I regularly follow called This I Believe, a series of essays by notable people initiated by renowned journalist Edward R. Murrow. It played in the background but I soon found myself going back and focusing more intently, finding not only some basic framework with which to analyze my hypothetical, but also a view of the world, of humanity and of purpose that resonated with me.
I never had the opportunity to watch Tom Watson in his prime – I’m only 23. I’ve played my share of golf, watched plenty of it and yet I have neither enjoyed nor understood the game more deeply than when I watched Tom Watson play during the 2009 Open Championship at Turnberry.