The wisdom to know the difference


Soooo…. This might be a rant about ranting.

Didn’t want you to think I was unaware.



Amnesty International founder, Peter Benenson, once said  “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness”.

In an average week do we spend more time ranting or more time having an actual impact?

Do we spend more time creating or more time judging the creations of others?

Do we spend more time doing that thing  we deeply love and sharing it with the world, or do we tend to spend our precious, limited hours numbing and distracting ourselves?

Bernie and Donald…

Tom Brady…

The Grammy Awards / the current state of music…

Do I quack, quack, quack, like a duck, waddling down the street or am I one who speaks life?

Now, admittedly, I have more hang-ups than the coatroom at the Taj and no one loves a good “quack” more than I do.

That being said, as I write to you, I’m at the Dandee Doughnut shop in Marblehead MA.  I LOVE doughnuts and from time to time I actually eat one.   When I do, I thoroughly enjoy it.

Today I had an egg white omelet with a side of fresh fruit.  There was, as you know, a time when I lived a life of doughnuts.  It was around the same time that I lived a life of quacking.

Quacks and snacks have their place.   My rant today is about whether or not your quacking about things, over which you have no meaningful influence, has replaced the actual action you could be taking to improve the lives of those around you.

You have strong opinions about the presidential race, but when was the last time you served your local community in a powerful and creative way?

You love the Patriots, but when was the last time you threw the ball around with a kid?

You watch the Grammy Awards and shake your head in disgust, but when was the last time you created a song, poem or piece of art?

In a recent interview, marketing expert Seth Godin was asked about who comes to mind when he thinks about the word “successful”.  His answers ranged from his parents because they loved well and were well loved to the people in his neighborhood who are fortunate enough to get to shovel snow for an elderly couple.

As for me, I value impact over commentary, action over thought and values over feelings.

I value changing the things I can and most of the time, if I’m honest with myself, have the wisdom to know the difference.

5 thoughts on “The wisdom to know the difference

  1. Great post, Jim. These are very wise words. I am very guilty of ranting and complaining. I’d like to believe that I spend more time being proactive and passionate about things that are important to me than I do ranting. Your post helps remind to keep fighting the good fight — my own fight — and not complaining (too much) when things don’t turn out the way I want them to.

  2. I empathize with this post in many ways Jim. I am the VP of Drexel Socialists and the first thing we tell new members is that we are not a debate club. We do not talk about theory. Our motto is “Fight the power by serving the people.” We are in the midst of forming a tenants union across Philadelphia to help better represent renters against uncompromising and unfair landlords, we help teach ESL classes, and a variety of other pursuits. A call to action is absolutely crucial in order to accomplish anything, from the tiniest task to the greatest goal. Thanks Jim.

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