Book Review: The Art of Asking
My life path couldn’t be further from that of Amanda Palmer’s. Yet, I found her story and book “The Art of Asking” to be riveting and still insightful. Let’s compare briefly. I spend my day as a corporate suit climbing the organizational ladder. Amanda spends her day as a rock star, crowdfunding, TED speaker and living statue. I dress conservative and never take my shirt off in public. Amanda lets random people sign her naked body. Yet we both live a happy life.
And that is the point. Live your life your way and don’t be afraid to ask for help along the way. I really had to think on the whole “asking” thing. Amanda isn’t talking about bumming or pan handling. Its an ask with a reciprocal benefit. The artist on the street is performing – for you. If you enjoyed it, pay for it. If you need help figuring out a tough situation at work, ask a mentor for help – then figure out what they are having trouble with and pay it back, forward, or however you can. The ask and the receiving is the oil in the wheels of the world that makes life fun. Yes, there will be goobers who abuse you and don’t reciprocate. They are the minority of the world. The rest of us enjoy giving and receiving. Help get it started by asking and be prepared to give in return.
I was in New York City a few weeks ago and came across a group of drummers. These kids were using five gallon buckets as drums. I’m a sucker for beat boxes and anything close to Stomp. I enjoyed their work, dropped them some cash, and smiled realizing Amanda changed my view on street art.