I always get something out of time spent with Seth Godin - in person or in print. Seth returned to Cambridge, MA yesterday, and enchanted an audience at MIT's Kresge Auditorium with insights from his new book, "The Icarus Deception." As a "Free Prize Inside," he gave a copy of this little gem - "V Is for Vulnerable - Life Outside the Comfort Zone," to each person who attended the seminar.
Illustrated with cartoons by Hugh MacLeod, this "ABC Book for Grownups" is a delight - doing what Seth does so well - conveying profound truth in simple and memorable terms. In his brief introduction to this book, Seth makes it clear that he is channeling Dr. Seuss by offering this type of literary confection:
"SEE THE WORLD THE WAY AN ARTIST DOES.
'The Lorax' makes me cry. Every time.
Dr. Seuss made me giggle when I was three. He taught me how to read when I was five. Today, he reminds me of how important our future is, whether or not we have kids.
Every one of his books is incredibly simple, some with just three hundred words inside. But the ideas stick with us, and even more powerfully, push us to take action, to embrace opportunity, not to merely watch and wait.
I'm hoping that this book I created with Hugh MacLeod will help you choose to see the world differently. Radically differently. I'm hoping that instead of asking 'How can this book help me do a better job to keep the world as it is?' perhaps you can momentarily choose to see the world as a different place altogether.
I'm trying to get under your skin. I'm trying to get you to stop being a spectator and a pawn in the industrial system that raised us, and maybe, just maybe, stand up and do something that scares you. I want you to do what you're meant to do., what we're all meant to do, which is the hard work of creating art.
The artist wonders, 'How can I break this?' and 'Is it interesting?'
Go break something
Seth Godin" (Introduction)
Seth's manifesto tone reminds me of Bono's verbal aside in U2's iconic "Joshua Tree" album. As he talks about issues like peace, he interjects the rhetorical question, "Am I bugging you?"
Seth is bugging us, and I hope he continues to do so for a long while to come.