A manifesto. Of sorts.
Sunday, March 22, 2009 at 9:26AM
ZenBandit in conversations, imagining anything, manifesto for life, say no to mission statements

We were talking yesterday about how manifestos have gone out of fashion. I mean, when was the last time you heard a good rousing manifesto. I think most of them were killed off by that stretch in the 80s & early 90s when companies everywhere were all racing around doing mission statements. You know. Things like: we are empowered to bring the best experience to our customers. Right. Either you love your customers, or you don't. If you don't, no amount of empowering is going to fake them out.

That was the problem with mission statements. They all felt like they were trying to fake you out. You can just see a meeting room with a management team sitting around: I know, let's put a PR spin on this & woo-hoo, good as new. Shiny new empowered life. We'll all wear bright red t-shirts so no one will possibly notice that we're still all glaze-eyed with frustration & fatigue. (OK, I admit it. Mission statements bug me...)

Anyway, a good manifesto runs circles around a mission statement. That's because a manifesto is bold & stupidly optimistic. A manifesto is about making the world a better place, righting wrongs, restoring justice when things get too out of balance (as things usually do). A manifesto, unlike a mission statement, isn't about making a deal with the possible. It's about imagining the impossible & then setting to work. It's throwing your hat over a fifty foot wall & then going How the hell do I get my hat back?

So, in honor of spring's arrival, I thought I'd draft a manifesto, just to get into the habit. I actually call this Manifesto As Of Now (But Subject to Change). Consider it a work in progress...

I speak for life. For the children & the old people & the animals & the birds & all the plants. Except for the kind that have the little things that stick to your socks when you're out walking. I don't speak for the insects like mosquitoes & crickets that keep you up all night & ruin your sleep, but most of the other insects are pretty cool, especially under a magnifying glass.

I don't speak for snakes. I don't wish them any harm, but I'm not going to speak for them. To tell the truth, I'm kind of like that with dogs, too. Dogs & snakes. I'm sure there are plenty of people that will vouch for them. Me, I'm a big picture kind of person. So, I can get behind life. Yeah, I can SO get behind life. Especially if there are 2 lines & my line is the one without dogs & snakes.

It's where I'm going to start...

with love, 

Brian

Article originally appeared on Zen Bandit: Brian Andreas. Art. Stories. Life (http://www.zenbandit.com/).
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