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Time Is All We Have

I was recently called out by Don Judson about some political posts I’d been writing. Why? For a number of reasons:

  1. Don has been my friend for more than more than 30 years.
  2. He’s my business partner, and he was afraid of the way my screeds might reflect on our brand.
  3. Because of 1 and 2, he tells me what I need to hear, not what I want to hear.
  4. I wasn’t at all balanced in what I’d been writing.

Don was right. But he didn’t say that. I was wrong. But he didn’t say that. I’d let ego and ideology get the better of me. But he didn’t say that. Don agreed with some of the things I’d written. But he was correct in pointing out my lack of balance. And Don suggested if we spent our time speaking to, writing about, and treating each other with more civility, perhaps the folks we put in Washington to represent us might follow suit.

His logic — that shift in cause and effect — caught me completely off guard. It didn’t take me by such surprise because I found it illogical or implausible. It froze me in my tracks because, prior to Don’s saying it, I’d never thought of it. And that, of course, led me to tell him something I’d told him on many prior occasions: I live in fear of my dense streak.

The Aftermath

I responded initially as you might guess I would. I was humbled, grateful, and honored to have a friend steadfast enough to confront me. I thanked Don. I told him I love him. I do.

After that, I started thinking about time, particularly about the ways in which I spend mine.

Don knows I can’t un-see what I see. I can’t not think what I think. I can’t keep my yap shut. And I can’t make my thick Irish skull any less thick. But I can work at making my ravings more balanced. I can be more balanced. I can speak to, write about, and treat others with more civility. Don knows that, too. That’s why he leveled with me.

I love and admire Don because time is all we have. And he’d like to see me use mine wisely.

Don also inspired this:


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Mark O'Brien
Mark O'Brienhttps://obriencg.com/
I’m a business owner. My company — O’Brien Communications Group (OCG) — is a B2B brand-management and marketing-communication firm that helps companies position their brands effectively and persuasively in industries as diverse as: Insurance, Financial Services, Senior Living, Manufacturing, Construction, and Nonprofit. We do our work so well that seven of the companies (brands) we’ve represented have been acquired by other companies. OCG is different because our business model is different. We don’t bill by the hour or the project. We don’t bill by time or materials. We don’t mark anything up. We don’t take media commissions. We pass through every expense incurred on behalf of our clients at net. We scope the work, price the work, put beginning and end dates on our engagements, and charge flat, consistent fees every month for the terms of the engagements. I’m also a writer by calling and an Irish storyteller by nature. In addition to writing posts for my company’s blog, I’m a frequent publisher on LinkedIn and Medium. And I’ve published three books for children, numerous short stories, and other works, all of which are available on Amazon under my full name, Mark Nelson O’Brien.

DAILY INSPIRATION. DELIVERED.