Hello folks, and welcome to the SLN Editors’ blog, a place where SLN Editors can share their soliloquies — thoughts and reflections about, well, the myriad of things journalists think about. Some call it blogging, but here, we’ll call it “soliloquizing.” If other journalists are like me, they love to think about life in stories.
And here’s the most important story that we want to share today: Pippi’s Story.
This is my first blog post on a topic that wasn’t planned – I did not plan on diverting from launching this publication according to our plan. But if there’s one essential component to a silver lining, it’s that usually, a silver lining never results from something that went according to plan.
We made a decision this week to the launch The Silver Lining News, now, today, while it’s still under construction. And we would say “pardon the dust” but there isn’t even enough dust to pardon, yet. You will notice, our sections still lack content. And there’s a good reason for that. Our values are superseding our best laid “strategy” and “plans” – you know, all the formal grown-up business stuff.
That’s because we (the handful of staff that we are right now) deeply value that “done is better than perfect” sometimes. And “perfect” for us wouldn’t have been “perfect” if we launched without the LSG Fund series, posted in On Our Watch. This bittersweet story really encapsulates all that we’re doing this for – our purpose, our mission, our beliefs and hopes with this publication.
We did not want to hold off longer and miss the timely opportunity to shed light on one small dog’s very special effort to impact the world of education for the better. Yes, you read it right – there’s a dog out there, Pippi Badger, a 6-pound maltipoo, who has been working tirelessly the past month. If you didn’t click Pippi’s story above, please go now to: “You Can’t Memorize This.”
You could essentially say that by launching now, we are truly coloring outside the lines ourselves. But in the spirit of a child setting a popsicle-stick boat out to sail, we are launching with abandonment and joy. We’re just “doing it” — putting it down here and now, the best we can, with what we have.
Like a kid who only has so much time before the bell rings to finish what he can, we’re just pleased to turn this in today and say, “Look! we did this much!” Yes, we don’t have social media yet. Yes, there are many things missing – things we’ll notice weeks from now that we would have, should have, could have done. And yes, we are intentionally doing this anyway.
We have the sources in our first stories to thank for the inspiration to “just do it.” Here’s what’s great about people living large, beyond their scope of know-how; it gives others the guts to try it, too. But when you talk to people who have ignited a change in education with no educational background, like the LSG family. Or an executive, such as Alan Pederson, executive director of The Compassionate Friends, you “get it.”
Pederson is running the largest grief organization in the world and working with the top grief experts in the world, including the head of psychiatry at Columbia University. Yet he accomplished all of this without having a college degree, himself. “We write together and speak together – how could have that happened?” Pederson rhetorically asks. “How could have that possibly happened with a guy who only has a year of college from Colorado, that he could be speaking at Columbia University to all their future grief counselors and therapists? Because I just backed it on my love for Ashley.” It’s passion of purpose for Pederson, who got involved with the organization when he lost his daughter in a car accident 13 years ago.
And we have a purpose at SLN that we are very passionate about too. We believe that despite the volumes of information available to news consumers nowadays, there’s still some things missing — primarily, silver linings.
“Go-get-it–ness” is contagious. And if you land in a belly flop, the silver lining is that you were air borne, at least for a minute. This is not to say there is not a time and place to learn, strategize, plan and execute well-learned skills. It’s to say that learning is something that you do along the way, work in progress. Like children, we (SLN) are a work in progress.
So, it’s actually a fitting way for us lead out with our own mission (the go-get-it part, not the belly flop part), to model our launch in the spirit of the best kind of “start-ups” out there: children. If you think about it, kids are humanity’s most important “start-ups.” They’re just starting up in life and what we give them now – our time, skills, experience, opportunities, is what we, as their predecessors will benefit from later. I have a question; how many 80+-year-old patients are being treated by physicians who are “older and wiser” than they are? (That’s what I thought.)
The values, skills, creativity and innovation we, as an aging baby-boomer society will rely on now and in the future, will so critically depend on the education we place in our kid’s hands today. And the great thing about kids is they are so naturally inquisitive, intuitive, creative and courageous, that given a few good tools, their potential is boundless. Today, though, it starts with Pippi. Please help her out if you haven’t already.
You go, Pippi!
-Linda T. Kennedy
P.S. Mom, you are the biggest kid at heart who I know. Congratulations, you are finally launched!