Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Some thoughts on being too old.

Last night I took part in a minor insurrection.

I left work at a decent hour and did something for my mind and my soul.

I walked east to The New York Times building on 8th Avenue and 41st Street to hear two-time Pulitzer-Prize winner Nicholas Kristof give a talk called "Three Decades of Covering the World."

In his over 20 years at the Times, Kristof has visited 150 countries, every Chinese province and every Japanese island. He essentially broke the story of the China's Tiananmen Square democracy movement, the slaughter in Darfur and human trafficking all over the world.

For ninety minutes, despite the constant vibration of my phone about every three seconds with the arrival of yet another banal email, Kristof talked about his worlds and his passion. While a children's army in South Sudan is hardly joyous, I was far from what matters in our advertising world.

I fear, more often than ever, that I have gotten too old for this business.

Or maybe too old for the world.

I am not too old to do the work. 

But I am too old to perseverate over what seems fairly inconsequential with the same level of mania so many people around me seem successful bringing to the party.

It's not that I don't care. I care passionately. It's just that with my 35 years in the business, I have some confidence the work will be done and be done well, and that given a little time and an axe-length's of distance, we can actually make the work better.

You need only look at the world of our political discourse to see examples of this, particularly, imho, on the republican side. The hyperbole of language and the panic response to nearly every input makes life downright frightening.

It seems that the end of the world arrives nearly as often as the Lexington local.

Maybe that's what I'm too old for.

Panic, hyperbole and fear.

Least of all because I know if something really needs doing, I can always do it myself.

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