In the latest news from CommPRO.biz, which provides the daily scoop for media and communications professionals, MSCO CEO Mark Stevens gives his opinion on the recent trademark ruling regarding the Washington Redskins team name.
In the article, Mark goes against the consensus by saying that Dan Snyder needs to go on the offensive and stop playing defense regarding the topic, citing the myriad of other quasi offensive team sports names. There’s a slippery slope that we don’t want to start down, or at least try to slow as goes the argument.
What do you think? Should the name change or should Snyder stick to his guns like Mark says? Read the article here and weigh in with your opinion in the comments.Read More
Check out Mark Stevens in today’s New York Times Frequent Flier column:
You Can’t Judge a Seatmate by His Foot-Stomping
Published: November 2, 2009
“I LOVE flying. Maybe that’s because I go into it with the expectation that
I’m going to be delayed. Once I get through security, I go to the bar, ask
for a wine, order some death-defying foods and then do some work, until my
Read the complete article here!Read More
From birth, we are all told the things we cannot or should not do.
Interesting, but these warnings, of sort, often come before and with greater vehemence, then the advice on what we can and should aspire to.
Let’s take one we’ve all grown up with: “Don’t do anything you’ll come to regret.”
When you think about it, that really means “don’t do anything at all.” It is, intentional or not, paralyzing. Whenever we take a chance in life, we run the risk of failing. Of losing face, money, stature, customers, popularity. Those who can’t face that kind of risk, live in the safe zone. They took that childhood caveat about the things we cannot or should not do and allowed it to dictate the terms of their lives.
They may never have the thrill of achievement, but they are safe, or so they think. I’ll return to that illusion in a moment. But first, let’s do a 180 and contemplate Martin Luther King.
We all know he had a dream and that he succeeded in turning the dream into reality. He did not achieve all that he hoped for but he was truly transformative. What gets lost about his story, is that he carried a nation on his back to bring his dream to life.
Young people who did not live in the era of King do not realize how far outside of the safety zone he ventured. They don’t understand–and you can’t glean this from textbooks or news archives alone–how he did it with German shepherds biting at his feet, water hoses driving into his body, redneck mobs taunting and beating his marchers. .
Even more so, King knew that in pursuit of his dream, he was walking headlong into an assassin’s bullet. It was an ugly time in America, with hatred and violence pouring into the streets. For most, it was a time to stay inside and lock the doors.
King would have none of that. Safety was not his holy grail.
In my lifetime, I have witnessed and had the rewards of knowing and working with famous and exceptional people. But Martin Luther King was the bravest and the one who accomplished the most magnificent feat.
King knew that there is nothing more powerful than a human being armed with a dream and willing to do something he or she may pay a staggering price for. And he knew that safety is a figment of the imagination.
Whenever we are tempted to play it safe, to avoid risk, to be driven by consensus, all we really do is expose ourselves to a far graver threat than loss of face, money, stature, popularity and even life.
We fail to accomplish anything of importance.
We are all in search of rewards and awards. Money, fame, power, honor, recognition.
Some admit it more readily than others. Some find the need to camouflage it.
But the quest is universal.
All that changes are the goals. And whatever they are — money, fame, power, honor, recognition– they contribute directly to our personal happiness.
Some admit it more readily than others. Some find the need to camouflage it. But its impact on happiness is universal.
We wake in the morning and we greet the day, prowling for the goals. When we lose to others, we pretend to be happy for them but the truth is, we wish we were in their place. A ‘good loser” is really just a talented actor.
I have been watching the US open tennis this week, seeing the fire in the eyes of the champions, Nadal, Federer, the Williams sisters. On the court, in the heat of the matches, they want it all– the money, fame, power, honor, recognition–
And when they see the up and comers driving themselves to beat the odds and win, the champions double down and find a way to prevail, denying the challengers.
They cannot win enough trophies. They cannot collect enough checks. They cannot accumulate enough adulation. This is all part of human nature. It is what drives human achievement. It is what raises the bar. All who are out of the spotlight, are just as much in “the search” as those who command the headlines.
It all seems inevitable: the quest, the lust to have it all, the impact on personal happiness.
And then a wonderful anomaly strikes out of left field. This summer, Canadian author Alice Munro, was about to have the honor of having her new book, Too Much Happiness, nominated for the prestigious Giller Prize for literature.
Given that Munro has won the award twice before, this would be a crowning achievement placing her in that Pantheon of greatness every writer, athlete, businessperson, scientist would, admit it or not, revel in and use to stroke their personal joy.
But Munro broke convention, defied human behavior, did what virtually none of us would do, and asked that her book be withdrawn from consideration for The Prize.
Why? Precisely because she has won twice before and wants young writers, other writers, to have the opportunity to win.
I know that I don’t have the generosity to act this way. And I have actually never seen it before. And I believe there is a powerful lesson here. I just don’t know what it is yet. I don’t know how to incorporate it into my life. I don’t know how or if to defy “the quest.”
Perhaps the answer lies in the title of the book, denied The Prize by its author.
Perhaps it is Alice Munro who has Too Much Happiness.
Perhaps she is teaching us something.