Friday, August 10, 2018

Time kills.

As usual, I have my nose stuck in a book (remember books?) and Wednesday night was no different. 

I was reading a pretty heady book a friend had given me, "When Einstein Walked with Gödel," by Jim Holt and I was struck by a quotation that really stopped me in my tracks.

The words were said by the great French romantic composer, Hector Berlioz: "Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately it kills all its pupils."

I think about this quotation as it applies to agency life today. Maybe it's backward. Maybe it's the teachers who are being killed.

At many agencies (not mine, touch wood) you could send out an All Points Bulletin, six bloodhounds and a dozen predator drones and not find anyone above the age of 40.

People above the age of 40 (this is a 60-year-old's point of view) are "time."

We have the wisdom of the ages. We have answered thousands of briefs, seen all manner of problems. We have unknotted Gordian's finest efforts. And those experiences, gained over the decades, are what make us good teachers.

Yet, in many cases, before we teachers get to teach our pupils, before our knowledge is captured and shared, it is we who get killed.

Axed. Shit-canned. Sent out to pasture.

Which, whether or not you're walking with Einstein and Gödel, is an upside-down universe.

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