Saturday, August 2, 2014

Loss and reminders

It has been a very tumultuous few weeks. On the heels of the Apple + IBM Announcement (and the resulting post-announcement scramble), we're preparing for the major launches for the remainder of the rest of the year, with (of course) accelerated timetables and never quite as much money as one would like. The refrain of every corporate marketer, I'm sure.

Sadly, all of this was happening while a friend had a terrible meltdown, a harrowing relapse, and ultimately took his own life.  From the outside looking in, we all thought that while his situation was traumatic, it certainly didn't seem that bleak. But when you're looking at it from the inside the black hole, and can't see a way out, who knows what dark and dreadful place the mind goes. It was unexpected mainly because he was so full of life, or at least on the surface he seemed so.

This isn't a post about suicide, or recognizing its signs, or trying to understand it. It's more about in the midst of all the shenanigans we let modern life thrust upon us, the universe sends not so subtle reminders our way to stop, think, and remember that nothing is permanent. All our #firstworldproblems -- digital overload, self-indulgence to excess, minor annoyances writ large via social media -- pale when something like this happens. I'm old enough to know from repeated first-hand experience that you can NEVER say "thank you" and "I love you" and "how are you REALLY doing?". Ever. Never ever.

All the announcements and press releases and advertisements and social media posts and digital creative that we do. All the television shows and movies and videos we watch. All the status updates we read on our phones while we bump into things. Unless we're curing cancer, or finding better ways to feed the hungry, or deliver potable water to the approximately 2 BILLION people who don't have regular access to it, or finding ways to identify and treat mental illness, or any number of ways we can directly benefit people's most basic needs, then we ought to find every possible way to make every interaction we have the most meaningful, personal and pleasant engagement it can be, so at least we're doing SOMETHING for someone, not just ourselves. Even if we (especially because we)  aren't here for as long as we had hoped. 

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