Friday, June 29

Seth Godin: Resist Greed, Do Not Pander

Seth Godin has just posted an excellent article on pandering, or doing something simply for money. He writes:
Yes, you can pander, and if you're a public company and have promised an infinite growth curve, you may very well have to. But if you want to build a reputation that lasts, if you want to be the voice that some (not all!) in the market seek out, this is nothing but a trap, a test to see if you can resist short-term greed long enough to build something that matters.
Read the rest here: Do we have to pander?

I looked up "pander" in the dictionary and here's what I found:
verb: "Gratify or indulge (an immoral or distasteful desire, need, or habit or a person with such a desire, etc.)."

noun: A pimp.
It seems that it isn't so much the indulging that's distasteful, it's the desire, the want that is the reason for the indulgence. And so, because a certain desire is distastful the indulging of it is so as well.

I mention this because I think perhaps there's a difference between folks who do distasteful things because they want to have a place to live and food to eat--folks who are fighting just to get by--and folks who do it because ... well, you pick. Because they want more money than their neighbors, because they want to buy the neighborhood playground, pave it over, and turn it into a car park. Whatever.

Or is there a difference? Of course some ways of making money are beyond the pale, whatever the reason. Human trafficking for instance. But a person can work in a soul-killing job for years because they love their family and want to help provide for them. What should they do? Quit their job and put their family in jeopardy, trusting to the fates that something will intervene to avert disaster, or should they continue to chip away fragments of their soul in exchange for security?

What a cheery thought! I think I really do need my morning coffee now. 

Seth Godin has the best posts, they make me think, and for that I am immensely grateful.


Related reading:
- Writer Beware: Outskirts Press
- Kris Rusch: The Value of Imperfection

Photo credit: TED

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