Tuesday, September 4, 2012
So, even though it took me like an hour and a half to come up with it, you can pretty well print out the above graphic, crumple it up and chuck it in the recycle bin along with your Beetle Bailey comic books.
Here's what I really wanted to show you...
Years later it dawned on me. I think I've finally figured out what he meant. Maybe. Here goes:
When we write, we write to other human beings simply because it's sort of stupid to write to inanimate objects or animals. Like anything else done well in this world, writing to communicate effectively is an art.
It's just like when you used to talk to your mother. Really. Because I don't know about your mother but you couldn't tell my mother anything. The trick was you had to sort of talk about the subject in a way that she'd listen and take it in and then wait until she figured she had come up with the idea. And then you went, "That was a good idea you came up with, Mom."
Maybe I'm turning into my mother as I get older because I like to be approached in exactly the same manner. Don't try to tell me anything. Don't attempt to impress me with your expertise, don't try to be a guru (because, really, no one is) and don't be patronizing. Be real and who you are. If you're fake or if you lie I'll know; regardless of what you say. Don't be afraid to take me into your confidence. If you need my help, ask. If I can help, I will. And if you ask for my advice do so because you're not just sucking up and listen to what I have to say even if you might not fully understand what I say until years later. Above all, I'm a human just like you. Talk to me like an intelligent human being; don't talk down to me and don't make speeches. Don't whine but be upbeat and humble. And if you make a mistake and hurt someone, even without meaning to, say loudly, "I take responsibility and I'm so fucking sorry." And mean it. And over time, whether you're a person or a brand I'll figure out whether we mesh or not. If you do all that, chances are we will. And we'll both be richer for the experience.
So when I'm writing these days I may use nouns, verbs and adjectives, but if I want to communicate I'm really putting them together for my mom.
Miss you, mom. You taught me a lot.
Posted by Rand MacIvor at 10:37 PM