Personal Ads, Part III: Vision Statement

Still working on my personal ad project. This could take months. Indeed, it might be years before I have a product I’m ready to send out over the OkCupid Airwaves.

Yesterday, we used a template of a silly but highly specific ad to think about our own wishes, but translating the details mostly produced a list of no’s. (Why are we using the royal we today? We don’t know. Distance, we suppose.)

Generally speaking I (back to I) am in favor of details. Marketing and fundraising live and die by details—the ones we include and the ones we leave out. (Again with the we!)

For example, you will leave your potential donors cold if you only give them statistics about the hundreds of homeless children on the streets on any given night. But tell them a story about little Jessica, who bounces on her toes while her mother, hands shaking, opens the door of the apartment they finally got, and how once that door is open little Jessica runs to find her room, the very first room of her own she’s ever had, and she runs so fast her pigtails fly out behind her—draw a picture of those pigtails and the tears will flow and the checkbooks will open.

So, details are critical but first, we must develop the big picture. Long before we start specifying what brand of sunglasses the young (or in my case, old) man must wear, we need to know what sort of person he is in broad, sweeping terms. We need a vision.

I thought long and hard about those higher-order characteristics. What really matters? I thought about my personal history. I remembered my manifesto. In the end, it turned out to be short and simple:

Be kind.
Be smart.

And, because details really are important, I’ll add the one uncovered by yesterday’s exercise:

Have a big, cozy sweatshirt that you will let me borrow indefinitely. Because wearing your sweatshirt feels like a hug.

All right. We’ve made good progress here today. And now we are exhausted and must rest.


7 thoughts on “Personal Ads, Part III: Vision Statement

  1. be kind be smart…that’s a great list. this might seem weird, but i don’t care about the sweatshirt. so I’ll add this to my personal list: enjoy physical contact with other human beings, especially me.

  2. My wife and her friends think that I’m the most wonderful man in the world, more because of my consistent kindness than my brains. I hate to sound ethnocentric, but they are surrounded by men who were shaped in a machista society, and to find one who was not is a breath of fresh air. My friend who married a Thai woman reports the same thing. His wife is delighted to show off the gifts of jewelry he gives her, and her friends are envious, because apparently it’s rare for men to give nice gifts to their wives there.

    All this to say, be careful about dating cross-culturally.

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