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What makes me think... remembering David Carr

So many good ideas and observations have surfaced from the late, great David Carr today. I was not always a fan, but everyone is sharing their favorite clips, and I am blown away by the insights he achieved. 

Tq-120822-euReading the clip below, which says that literature helps us understand things we cannot experience, brought back an important memory for me. After I quit Ogilvy for the second time, I was very bitter and confused about how to work with passion inside an organization. Hypocrisy and pettiness confronted me everywhere I turned. I met a wise older man at a meeting and I commented that I hoped the next generation wouldn't have to experience the same confusion and disappointment as I had. He shook his head and said everyone would have to learn it the same way. 

Now, I think everyone is fated to have their idealism bruised to some extent. That is a part of growing up. But the years-long frustration which wasted ten years of my career was not fate. Today I work hard to create a professional legacy for the people who want to work with passionate enthusiasm. We can build a better place to work. 

NY Times: David Carr by the Book, 2014-Sep-22 by Pamela Paul

If you had to name one book that made you who you are today, what would it be?

Probably “The Things They Carried” by Tim O’Brien. I came of age just as the Vietnam War was ending and all of the vets I knew were so ruined or freaked out that I had no understanding of what they had been through. The book taught me that literature could explain things to me in a way that I could understand. It’s not like being there, but putting a prism of words on the experience of others turned it into something I could see or at least imagine.