Would you spend close to four thousand dollars for a book?
Ted Gup, professor of journalism at Emerson College, did. Ted bought How the Other Half Lives by Jacob A. Riis. Riis, using both camera and rhetoric, exposed the deplorable conditions surrounding New York tenements in the late nineteenth century. The book was published in 1890.
Ted talks about the personal importance of How the Other Half Lives and details his adventure in procuring the book in this article published Sunday in the Tampa Bay Times newspaper.
I very much respect what Jacob Riis did; I understand the book's role in investigative reporting and the connection that Ted makes to modern day issues that need to be pursued by journalists with the same vim and vigor.
But what I am most blown away about is the love Ted Gup has for his profession. Few people would pass this four thousand dollar litmus test of love, honor and respect for one's field. Of course one doesn't need spend outlandish sums of money to profess one's passion for craft.
I just finished reading Pam Slim's latest book, Body of Work. Pam outlines how critical it is to move forward in the business world with a conscious connection to your skills, passion, expertise, work experience, school, volunteer work etc. She talks about the workplace change from thirty years with one company; to have many different gigs throughout your career, with multiple ones even occurring at the same time. I'll review this must read book soon.
As I was reading Pam's book, I contemplated having various forms of work (money making) at the same time. Aside from the I gotta make enough money to eat argument, I wondered how I might prioritize various gigs in terms of importance and love for what I do.
I now know.
I'll use two examples from my history. One as a manager the other a writer. I simply ask myself, would you ever contemplate buying a four thousand dollar book that had roots of relevance and reverence in the profession of management?
The key word here is contemplate. I didn't say buy.
My take-away from Ted's article is to question my dedication to my craft and do something about it - as long as it doesn't involve spending much money.