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Tuesday 29 January 2013: Something to be proud of

Sunday night I got lost, driving home from a meeting in the dark and the rain. I had the radio on, and Seth Godin was talking about internet ethics. He seemed to be talking about Blip when he said, "If people offer us connection and meaning, and a place where we can be our own best selves, we will seek that out." But he went on to say he avoids Facebook because it's a "huge time-suck" and he wants "to dig deeper to do the work that I'll be proud of." If I hadn't been lost in the rain, I probably wouldn't have heard the whole program, but his voice eased my anxiety, and I liked what he was saying.

Today I was out looking for something to be proud of. The men in the bus shelter saw me with my camera, and one of them who was seated called me over, asked if he could look at what I got. I showed him this shot, and he laughed, "That's funny. That makes me laugh. I like that. Can you put us on the internet, make us famous?"

I laughed and said it depends what you mean by famous, but yes, I could put them on the internet. "I'd like that," he said. "Get a closeup of me and my home boy, here."

His friend, standing beside him, was skeptical. "What's the use of being famous if you can't do nothin with it? What's the use of it?"

I asked them if they'd like to say anything to the people who might look at the picture. "Yeah," the seated man said. "Tell 'em this. This is me and my home boy, and we stick together. We don't know nothin' but bad times and worse times, but we hang together and it goes better if you ain't alone." The picture made at their request is here.

That ties right back into what Godin says. He says having internet connections gives us an opportunity to make a contribution. We leave a trail or a mark, and it's up to us to make that trail or mark something we can be proud of.

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