I don’t sell hope.
Instead, I provide people with advice on how to overcome obstacles. In addition, I listen to advice from others on how to overcome obstacles.
Let’s me give you two examples:
- A woman wants to lose weight. She can listen to a self-help guru, telling her to “just believe in herself.” Or, she can listen a personal trainer that provides a comprehensive fitness plan: a man willing to kick her ass every day with rigorous training. A man willing to push her to greatness, to fight through pain and sweat. The first individual is providing hope; the second is helping her to overcome an obstacle.
- A man wants to become rich. He can listen to an enthusiastic speaker, telling the audience to “reach for the stars.” Or, he can read from the wisdom of millionaires: i.e. The Millionaire Next Door, The Art of the Deal, etc. Books that take away time from his pleasure-filled weekend. Books that force him to re-examine his wasted life. The first individual is providing hope; the second is helping him overcome an obstacle.
You get the point.
I refuse to be a “hope dealer.” I don’t sell the crack of platitude, the needle of self-help. I don’t peddle the cliche. I’m not here improve my self-esteem by telling pretty lies. I don’t need the Facebook likes or Retweets. I prefer the truth.
I refuse to sell a Pollyanna principle. Rose-colored glasses are too small for my face, too blinding for my vision. I’m not here to misdirect or to obfuscate. I don’t need a book deal, a record contract, or a tenure-track position. I speak the truth.
May the children of tomorrow hear my cry! And may they say one thing alone – he was a man that spoke the truth. He broke the chains in Plato’s cave, he pointed to a naked leader and yelled: “The Emperor wears no clothes!”
What can I say? Nothing more than what Nietzsche already gave us:
“…it is my ambition to say in ten sentences what everyone else says in a book — what everyone else does not say in a book.”
I prefer to help one person than lie to a thousand.