Charles Wheelan, 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said
Mr. Wheelan and I are on a panel together this Sunday at Chicago’s Printer’s Row Fest, and it’s so short, I figured I’d be a supreme asshole to have not read it before our discussion.
And guess what? It’s really great! I’m a little worried that we won’t have anything to fight about. (Not that that’s what panels are about, but…)
My favorite, favorite advice from it I’ve already blogged:
Read obituaries. They are just like biographies, only shorter. They remind us that interesting, successful people rarely lead orderly, linear lives.
The first time I heard this was from Maira Kalman, who includes obituary reading as part of her morning routine:
This week there was an obituary about the man [Curtis Allina] who developed the Pez dispenser. It was an incredible obituary because he was raised in Vienna, lost his entire family at Auschwitz, and came to America and worked for this company that made peppermints, which is what Pez is short for. He did something that was considered completely trivial, which was designing and marketing Pez dispensers. But I think the sum of every obituary is how heroic people are, and how noble. So it gives you a nice beginning to the day.