From the Publisher’s Desk: When Self-Actualization Meets Self Isolation
From the Publisher’s Desk is a series of insights, musings, and updates from Rathnelly Group Media President and Publisher of Bay Street Bull and GLORY, David King. In the weeks to come, you will find here insights from a business owner during these trying times, roundups of elevated content that you can consume while self distancing, and updates on all things that are changing with our business as we navigate this new world.
Simply put, during times of crisis, publishers must become writers.
Without stepping on my editor’s toes, I find great pride in being able to contribute to my team’s editorial efforts during what is undoubtedly a challenging time. As leaders, we must be willing to help where it is needed within our organizations to tackle adversity as a team.
By the sounds of it, one might think we’re going to war. But for those who are no longer able to run a business or do their jobs from home, there is all of a sudden a surplus of free time that can be dedicated to binging Netflix shows, reading new books, and tackling back burner hobbies.
As a way to help address your idle time, my editor assigned me to help out with a regular series of recommendations that will help you focus on personal growth. Right now, I’ve been catching up on my reading and would suggest Henry David Thorough’s Walden .
Yes you may have all written a book report on this in high school. Some of you may have even vowed to never pick up the book again. But in my opinion, we all need a little Walden in our lives right now.
Based on Thorough’s account of his own need to socially distance back in 1845, the 27-year-old author went to live in the woods of Massachusetts where he spent over two years on a journey of self-discovery. In the book’s early pages he eloquently states, “I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”
More pointedly, Thoreau also points to our future sustainability, especially in our diets, noting that he finds, “something essentially unclean about this diet and all flesh … when I had caught and cleaned and cooked and eaten my fish, they seemed not to have fed me essentially … It cost more than it came to.”
Well before Whole Foods and Instagram photos at the dinner table became normal, Thoreau saw a future where humans couldn’t sustain themselves or their diets, alluding to the lack of necessity that the lines we see running alongside grocery stores and hoarding of toilet paper that seem to define Western society all of a sudden.
Just glancing at some of the quotes from the book this morning is enough to remind me that sometimes it’s important to step back, catch your breath, and look within with intent so that we avoid becoming the “slave-drivers of ourselves…the seemingly wealthy, but most impoverished class of all, who have accumulated dross, but know not how to use it, or get rid of it, and thus have forged their own golden or silver fetters.”
I think this crisis is reminding us all of the important things in life. While we all go find ourselves a little bit in this socially distant forest, just remember that the time is yours, so live it with intent.
A few other recommended reads:
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson
A narrative non-fiction that documents the courage of Winston Churchill in the face of true adversity as he led Britain during ‘The Blitz’, the period between 1940 and 1941 when Germany bombed England almost daily.
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The autobiography of one of the greatest leaders of all time, Long Walk to Freedom is Nelson Mandela’s personal account of his life story traversing his experience as a young South African lawyer, to his nearly three decades in jail, to his ascendency to the highest office in the nation.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know by Malcolm Gladwell
With all the social distancing going on, Gladwell’s book on social cues is more poignant than ever, taking a look at historic examples of how reading someone the wrong way can lead to disaster.
The Captain Class by Sam Walker
Forget the teams top scorer, The Captain Class is a dynamic look at sports leadership like you’ve never seen before, taking a statistical analysis of the greatest sports teams of all time with an eye towards highlighting who really was each team’s true leader.
The Captain and the Glory by Dave Eggers
When you need a quick read and a laugh, read this. The Captain and the Glory is the author’s satirical perspective of the US, told through the story of a bumbling Captain who almost steers his noble ship, the Glory, into disaster.