A Critical Essay for These Times

Ann Bauer is an amazing author, writer, and capturer of truths. Out of her own profoundly personal pain and loss, she came to sense a larger illness in society.

Ann initially posted this to Facebook, outlining a caustic and pervasive issue of our times and neatly summing up what we must strive to do to overcome it:

“Imagine if that were the goal: baseline civility and warm expectations.”

Indeed. Thankfully, someone smart at the Washington Post read it and asked her permission to publish it for a broader audience. Read her magnificent, inspiring, unflinchingly honest essay here.

Thanks Ann. And again, I’m so sorry for the loss of Andrew. God love you and yours.


Your Monday Morning Cry. (I Apologize In Advance)

No, this isn’t a Boomtown Rats kind of thing. This is a bit of brand content from a telecommunications company out of Thailand that’s been all over Facebook the past week, along with the admonishment/dare: ‘try not to cry.’

I’m sure many people didn’t. With a challenge like that, it’s not particularly hard to summon one’s inner smart ass, the world-weary cynic that festers inside all of us. But I’ll be honest–I enjoy the simple pleasure of feeling. My wife and I have a phrase for it, forged long ago as we watched the whole town of Bedford Falls rally around the beleaguered George Bailey yet again (even Harry who flew home in the middle of that crazy snowstorm): we call it “people being nice to people.”

In a world wracked by so much hateful stupidity, so much selfish violence, so much dictatorial foolishness, the immediacy of compassion, of people being nice to people, shines with amazing clarity. And it’s a lovely thing to witness.

Of course, extending the selflessness celebrated here to a mega-corporation is admittedly a stretch. But the film, the story, all the marvelously underplayed production is inspirational and shareworthy nevertheless. And it clearly touched people: within it’s first two days, this three minute piece crossed the million views threshold on YouTube.

Yes, I had to look up what a bill for 792,00 baht would equal in this country (about $25,000) and no, I won’t have any reason to use a Thai phone company.

But those details don’t diminish the fact that True walked away with the humanity branding contest this week. Lovely work.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Olson