Lincoln, Darwin, and the art of communicating

Recently I came across a line of prose that smacked me in the face.

...literary eloquence is essential to liberal civilization; our heroes should be men and women possessed by the urgency of utterance, obsessed by the need to see for themselves and speak for us all.
— Adam Gopnik, Angels and Ages

The words belong to Adam Gopnik from his book Angels and Ages: A short book about Darwin, Lincoln, and Modern Life. I picked up "Angels and Ages" because I'm a fan of Gopnik's and I love books that make connections between people/places/ideas. Much more than a history lesson, Gopnik's book is an homage to modern thought and the eloquence of two men whose notions were, and are, pivotal to understanding our humanity - past, present and future.

The act of making observations and eloquently communicating ideas is such an important skill. Despite honing this skill over my years in marketing, I have yet to put it into real practice when it comes to MY voice. You know that old empty nest adage: the one about not knowing who you are after your children fly away? Well, for the first time in my adult life, I'm without a day job, without a brand to communicate. Do I have an identity now that my daily "purpose" has flown the coop? Through Gopnik, Lincoln and Darwin have inspired me to truly explore who I am, what I believe, and how best to disseminate that essence across the facets of my life. I've been there all along, but the best parts of me have been busy working for someone else.

Images of Lincoln and Darwin courtesy of Loc.gov