Hope, part 3: Looking for Prince Harry

As I said in the last post, our hope lies in our willingness
to move outside our circle of comfort. 
What blows me away is that most people are less likely to make that move
when their circle is putrefying around them.  The news is filled right now with the hope that whatever the
federal government does with the stimulus package will solve the problem.  At the same time, no one believes it
will.  So the nation's hope is in
an organization no one has any faith in. 

I've been peppering these posts on hope with pithy quotes
from past presidents and now seems to be a good time to pull out this one.

 "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what
you can do for your country." -- John Kennedy

In a time when we are invoking the names of people like
Kennedy, Lincoln, and Roosevelt, we aren't spending a whole lot of time paying
attention to what they actually stood for, and that is the individual responsibility to not give into fear and selfishness.  Here's another quote from a more recent president that says it well.

"The success of our economy has always depended not just on
the size of our gross domestic product, but on the reach of our prosperity; on
our ability to extend opportunity to every willing heart - not out of charity,
but because it is the surest route to our common good."

Do you know who said that?  That was Barack Obama in his inaugural address.

Everything we do, from this point on, has to be for the
greater good and not our individual survival.  We can't hope in someone else to do it for all of us.  That's a quick trip to despair.  We have to put our own hands to the
plow.  We have to put our time and
resources into the effort. The federal bailouts are Bandaids on gaping
wounds.  The real help can be seen
in the mirror closest to you.

I've received lots of kind words of consolation regarding
shutting down my PR practice, and I really appreciate the good feelings, but
let's be very clear.  My PR
business didn't go away.  I quit.

I don't care what anyone thinks, PR in the B2B world no
longer works.  It is only an
exercise in futile gamesmanship. 
It's for the marketing executive to show the CEO that their company's
name is somewhere on the Internet. 
It's for the CEO to show the board the fake Internet clip reports.  It's a waste of time, money and
effort.  Press relations isn't a
bad thing, but frankly, you can achieve all you need to do without a proactive
program.  If you do it right, they
will come to you.

So I killed my PR business and I did it happily because I
know there is a better way.  What's
more, I've seen it work.  But
nothing is going to change for you until you decide to take the path less

Sam Diaz wrote an article on ZDNET today about the stimulus package and what it could mean for tech, which he thinks is quite a bit.  But he ended the piece along the same lines as I am thinking.

"For the longest time, Silicon Valley wanted some
respect and attention in Washington. That day has finally come. Now, it’s time
for the tech industry to step up to the plate and prove to this country that an
investment in tech can go a long way."

I know not everyone will be a hero in the battle we are
in.  Only a few people will catch
the vision.  Some of us will be
crushed in the process and others will be enriched and storied.  I hope I'm in the latter part of that
statement, but I would not give up the opportunity to be part of it.

call me "Harry."