This is a question that Phil Friedman and I asked in our last ‘He Said He Said’ post. The responses we got were quite interesting and varied. But overall it doesn’t feel like a lot of people know the answer to that question.
The Philosophy Of Why
Why is a difficult question to answer. Because it forces you to go deep and question a lot of things about yourself. And you can’t really resist that because any answer you give that doesn’t signify complete surrender to the question will smack of insincerity.
And everybody will see that.
My Personal Why
I went for a ride this morning and thought about that. What I concluded was very simple.
I am here to share. I am sharing whatever wisdom I have accumulated about marketing, advertising and writing in general.I am sharing my history, which is pretty much a whole life’s worth at this point. And I am sharing my concerns for the world and for individuals as well.
When you are a writer, you are powered by a compulsion to write. To speak the truth. To reveal your feelings. To let other people know that you understand what they may be feeling. And to use your talents, be they formidable or not so much, to further the dialogue that you have going on with the world.
I have been writing like this since about 1998. That’s a long time. Way more than 1000 posts, Lots of opinion. Lots of insight. Lots of advice. Lots of back and forth with people who took the time to read and get where I was coming from. Lots of sharing.
And why? Because without sharing there is no growth. Without honesty about yourself there can be no real truth in the world.
The world has more than its share of liars and cheaters and scammers and deceivers. All takers.
But there there are also a great many people who communicate true things, love what they do and always try to move other people in positive directions. All givers.
I have always thought of myself as a giver. Certainly I am a critic, and sometimes a pretty harsh one. But to me, telling the truth is the only way to really be a true giver.
I’m Not Alone
I have found a great many others here who feel the same way. Perhaps they have not articulated it specifically, but it shows in their words. Their words shine like beacons. And their thoughts are all pure and positive.
They want to give. They want to tell the truth. They want to sometimes take the takers to task and show the world what they really are. But mostly they just want to share.
Sharing Is Really The Only Two Way Street In Town
If you are one of the givers, you will understand where this post is coming from. If you are one of the takers, you’ll be thinking…whoa…what kind of ego trip is this guy on?
And therein lies the difference.
A lot of givers just end up singing to the choir, because mostly the takers don’t get it. They honestly don’t know how to give. They’re missing the gene or somebody really did a number on their heads.
But every once in a while…you get to actually change someone, to pull them out of that cult of darkness and into the light.
If you want a crystal clear example of the difference between takers and givers look no further than the US presidental race.
Listen to Donald Trump sounding off about how he wants to make America great again. But he has never promised anyone anything that will benefit them. He preaches the politics of division, of discrimination, of factionalization. And to what end? It’s all about taking for himself. And the people who follow him have drunk the Koolaid and somehow come to believe that he is actually someone who will make things better for them.
Then listen to Bernie Sanders. He feels for the country, He knows who has screwed it up and he is calling them out. He preaches the politics of inclusion, of fairness and equitable distribution of opportunity. And he’s being very specific. It’s all about giving.
I’m a Canadian and really have no bias here. I’m just looking at it from the point of view of why. And the aforementioned is the clearest example I have seen recently.
At the end of the day, all you can really do is make sure you understand your own purpose.
Ask yourself why. Ask yourself what you’re really doing here. Answer the question honestly, then tell everybody you can. There are a lot more people than you think who would appreciate knowing.
Jim Murray has been a writer pretty much all his life. For most of his adult life, including now, people actually pay him to do it. They also pay him to art direct a lot of the stuff he writes. He is also a mentor, blog post editor and a photographer.
Jim writes to help people and companies with their marketing and he blogs primarily to help people get better at communicating. In today’s world, that’s almost a public service.
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