Week 300 in Detroit.
In college I took an elective course called “Genocide.” It was in the history department but appealed to me as the intersection of history, politics and philosophy. It was taught by the James Farmer visiting professor for civil rights, Greg Stanton. We visited the National Holocaust Museum one Saturday and after our tour, my best friend Brad Frost and I had a chance to speak with Professor Stanton.
He made an interesting comment that I’ve never forgotten.
“Books are our pyramids. We will leave behind our experience and lessons through books.”
I have been thinking a lot about Saturday Cup of Joe #300. I think I thought about it so much that I couldn’t write it. Of course, the trick is just to start writing but I wanted it to be … good. I know, I know, “why start now?”
Writing. Words. Leaving something behind is something I think a lot about. Whenever I consider ending the Saturday Cup of Joe, it is “to write a book.” I thoroughly enjoy writing, including the Saturday Cup of Joe otherwise I wouldn’t do it.
I enjoy sharing ideas that excite me, celebrate ideas and values that I believe in and work out tough trends or obstacles by writing about them.
Other types of writing are our stories. In many ways, the oral traditions passed down around a fire or within families is now the storytelling of our books, shows, and movies. There’s so many stories out there it’s impossible to know what legacy we’re leaving while it’s happening.
More recently, I have wondered whether sharing our words is a liability. Would my intention be lost in future readings? Does it matter if everything will be read with the lens of the time of the reader?
One reason this topic was on my mind is Chuck Klosterman’s new book The Nineties: A Book. In an interview with Bill Simmons he said that one reviewer noted the book “was not revisionist enough. That comment really struck me.
I am enthusiastic about changing my mind. One of my favorite concepts is “strong beliefs, loosely held.” When I see new data or have a new experience that informs my view or challenges me, I incorporate what I learned into my thinking, my work and my life.
What I have been thinking more about is how I know when something is a meaningful experience or how I know new data is trustworthy. It’s…