Pressing Embarassment


Invented in 1440, the printing press changed the world. Before the press, a book was hard to come by and expensive. Much less reading a book, touching and holding a book. A library was a storehouse of books. All of which were one of a kind or hand copied.

Rare one of a kind treasures.

Between 1440 and 1500, the world went from these few rarities to twenty million volumes. By the end of the 1500’s there were potentially 200 million volumes.

Literacy was suddenly on the rise. People everywhere had access to the volumes being printed.

Eventually, volumes turned shorter and shorter. Magazines and newspapers were born. They started adding pictures and figured out how to reproduce images.

Children would stay up way too late. Reading books. These books would leave an imprint on a child’s face if they fell asleep reading. A 16th century Facebook I guess.

Parents were concerned for their children’s safety. All this reading and media they were consuming. It would eventually have to turn to something evil and rot the brains of these young innocent minds.

It all seems so silly now to think about. How could reading too much or staying up reading a book ruin a child?

If only there were a good analogue to today’s culture. What do you think they will look back at us and laugh about?

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Remembering The Future

I was recently observing someone who is older than I am and their children are much older than my boy is. They were lamenting a decision one one child was making and did not appreciate a turn another child’s life had taken. The parent fully loves their children, they were in a moment of expressing concern for the differences their children had decided to make in their own lives.

As the parent expressed their concern, I had to mark it down. I had to mark down an acknowledgement of my own future feeling. I had to put a flag in the ground to remind myself that my child will make decisions, but these decisions will not always be my decisions and I will have to find a way to love him and support him as my boy.

Remembering what has not happened, but is yet to come, will be most important when it happens.

I cannot let my feelings overrun me in the moment or I might forget those who have gone before me and forget the lesson they taught me.

Other people will make decisions I do not completely agree with. My continued involvement in their lives will be dictated by my reaction to their decision.

How do you react to decisions you disagree with? How do you treat people who make different decisions than you? What is your threshold for the difference between the importance of a person and the importance of a decision?

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Moments. Life is made up of them. I cannot escape living them and they are always followed up by another one. The older I get, the more each one loses significance. Each moment becomes a smaller and smaller percentage of my life. And yet, some of them are far more significant than any other.

I am currently in a phase of life where I have so many significant moments, but in 20 years will I remember them? Will I have them jotted down in my brain in such a way that I can reread them and remember what I am experiencing? Laugh at my naiveté? Celebrate my maturity? Or shake my head at my lack of acknowledgement of what really matters in the situation?

When I run into someone else going through what I am going through, will I be able to remember what I went through? How I felt? What I did to cope with it?

What do you remember? What significant moments do you have the details of stored away for yourself? How can you store away more moments to reflect on later in life?



Knowing Now and Later

You are a leader or a subordinated or both. As I am in my position now I have people I lead and people I follow. I see the people I lead and the people I follow. I need to be taking notes on both. I need to be writing down what I think the people I follow are doing well. 

I literally need to write down what I think people are doing well and what I would not want to repeat. These ideas will always be available to me as I continue to grow and mature in my life. I will always be able to look back and see what works and does not work and what I can do well. 

A journal full of leadership ideas will serve me well as I look to continue to grow and lead and mature. These ideas will also stick with me as I grow. I will not be able to step into a role where I make these same mistakes. I will not be able to forget what it was like following someone in my position. I will always be able to keep a perspective on who I am and how I came to be where I am. 

What is the perspective of someone who follows you? What do they see? What do they know? What is it like to follow you?