Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about. – Benjamin Franklin
What does that mean?
To me, it means (paraphrasing here) “get up off the couch and make something of yourself” or something to that end. Either that, or you need to write something… not like this blog, something really interesting, something worth reading.
Or do something, something really interesting, that someone would want to read about. It’s a bit bombastic, I’ll admit, but it gets straight to the point. Be exciting, be exceptional, be motivational, live a full life. That’s what I get out of it, how about you?
Why is being exceptional important?
Anyone can be ordinary. Isn’t that obvious? However, Ben (if I may be so bold) implores us to rise to greater heights. Have the exceptional imagination that can write stories worth reading, the exceptional insight that makes articles and news worth reading. Or go out and do the exceptional things that will inspire others to write about you.
But that was so much easier back in his era, you say. Exceptional people have always existed and will always exist. They’re here now. Love him or hate him, Donald Trump is an exceptional person. But that is being exceptional on a national or even international level.
Can one be exceptional in your own back yard? Have you had a teacher that really made a difference in your life? I’ve had several, and I would list them as having done something worth writing about. Not that the stories would be made into a Hollywood blockbuster movie, but it might make it on A&E or Lifetime. Perhaps it wasn’t a teacher, but a mentor, a coach, a community leader that made a big difference in your life.
Perhaps, to address the first half of the quote, you have met an author, or just read a book that made a difference in your life. They obviously wrote something worth reading. You can do the same. Please note that writing something worth reading and making the NYT Best Sellers list are not the same thing, as many of the books make it to the list aren’t worth cutting a tree down for.
Where can I apply this in my life?
So, what can you do to be exceptional? I looked up the word exceptional in thefreedictionary.com, and they said it was to be “Well above average; extraordinary”. OK, what does the average person do, and do more. Or find something the ordinary person doesn’t do, and do that. Many people do volunteer work, but it’s still not the average thing to do.
You won’t be made into a movie in Hollywood, but then again… How many of you have seen a movie (either Major Motion Picture, or Made for TV) that centered on the life of an ordinary person who did something sufficiently compelling to be made into a movie? What are some of the themes?
Adopted a kid, organized a fundraiser that saved something important to them, placed the well being of someone else over their own, provided themselves as a role model? The list is endless. If you need inspiration, Lifetime and other TV channels have a ton of movies about ordinary people living ordinary lives, but somehow managing to bring exceptional change to someone else.
Stopping a robbery is flashy, but very dangerous and exceptionally hard to time. Same thing with rescuing a baby from a burning house. However, working with kids, making a difference there, that can change the trajectory of a life. That is something worth writing about. There are tons of organizations that work with kids, elderly, or other people who need your help. Be a quiet hero. Be exceptional in the life of someone.
If you would rather write, you probably already know worthy person, someone already doing the things described above. Write something about them, the cause they are working towards, and send it to the local paper. Or blog about it. Given how many electrons are killed every day with gossip about blowhards on one coast or so-called celebrities on the other, wouldn’t it be nice if some were devoted to people who live in-between the extremes?
How much nicer would your morning be if you could tune into a blog with stories like these, instead of gossip (ranging from goofy to vicious) about the so-called “important people”? It isn’t going to write itself. Write articles, write blogs, even write in a diary. Do something, be something, and document the process. Enrich the world with your efforts, and leave something behind to show you were there.
Inspire someone by deed or by word, and improve the world we live in. What will you do?
From: Twitter, undocumented feed (my bad)
confirmed at: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/benjaminfr133951.html
Photo by accent on eclectic