Actually changing things

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Mea culpa: writing books describing how the world should be: to escape the practical challenges of actually changing things. – Alain de Botton

I like that quote.

I’ve internalised it as a warning: “Mike, don’t write about how things should be, in order to escape the practical challenges of changing things.”

I’m not saying that writing stuff down isn’t important.

Writing is thinking. To write well is to think clearly. That’s why it’s so hard. – David McCullough

I can only assume David wrote that down before he said it.

Additionally, if I didn’t write on my hand with a biro. I’d forget. A lot!

Where was I?

I wrote a poem recently. I justified this to myself as actionable and creative, it therefore passed through my ‘non-avoidance of practical challenges’ filter unhindered. But the trouble with writing about community issues, and sharing ideas, it can come across as being really preachy. It’s not my place to harangue others.

Actually changing things – hmm, that’s not easy.

It’s visible.

Failure is a distinct possibility.

Visible failure.


So here’s what I’m not going to do. I’m not going to write about my crazy ideas.

I’m going to write about action. The steps I’m taking, to try and make a difference to our community.

I might fail.

I might learn something.

Someone else might learn something.

We might all have a good laugh about it.

Where did I put my biro?


Now read this

I don’t think my high street will ever be the same again.

“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.” I didn’t think of that. Henry Ford, the American industrialist and founder of the Ford Motor Company did. I agree with the first part. “BIKE!”... Continue →