Brian Answers: 30-Second Demosthenes

Fatal PC problems and super-duper tiredness have conspired to keep me away from the blog, but no more! Today I return (hopefully for good) to the final day of Ask Brian Anything.

Shaila Mudambi asks:

If you could make a 30 second speech to the whole world (everyone actually listening) what would you say?

I thought about this question for a long time Sunday, as I was mowing the back yard. What would I say?

Since I’m a hopeless romantic, I’m tempted to make some grand unifying gesture, calling for peace or understanding or goodwill, something like that. Or perhaps read a poem – Kipling’s “If” comes to mind, though it’s too long.

Except, the world is full of such gestures, and I doubt it would faze most people. If I want to make a difference, I decided I should try something more concrete.

I think I would find out the name of somebody in need, in a country plagued by war or disease. I would tell their name, who they are, and what challenges they face. Then I would ask for people to donate what they can to Doctors Without Borders to help that person.

It’s actually not about that particular person, whoever they are. I just want people to give. But countless experiments have shown that people are more likely to give if they have a specific person in mind. Paradoxical though it may be, we’re hard-wired to care more about one person’s suffering than a million’s. So I am being a little manipulative here, but I can’t say I feel too bad about it.

Thanks for an excellent question, Shaila!

Finally, “no1isordinary” asks:

Through what lens do you craft your answers?

To be honest, I don’t entirely understand this question. But I suppose the answer is something like “my mind” or “my life experience.” And since this blog is a reflection of my mind, you could say that the place I write my answers is the lens. DEEP! 😀

Well, that’s it for Ask Brian Anything. Thanks for playing along! It’s been fun. Regular posts resume tomorrow.

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