By Nihal Tharoor-Menon
Hot To Trott
I really like Dave Trott’s writing.
Over the last week I was able to get my hands on Predatory Thinking, a collection of Trott wisdom in advertising and life. In each section he tells a real story that holds a moral for our industry.
His words are compelling and concise.
After years of honing an academic writing style in school and university it has been a challenge to strip my writing to its core. To use simple and sparing language. I know it will take practice on my part.
A wise man once said, ‘Good artists copy. Great artists steal’. Since I do not belong to the latter camp, I will try to write this weeks SCAB in the style of Trott.
I once had an internship at a documentary filmmaking company in New York.
They made films on humanitarian issues.
I was asked to transcribe footage from a trip to Kenya.
This project was about bridging the divide between prostitutes and police.
I learned many police in Kenya view and treat prostitutes as sub-human.
They do not understand why women, and men, go into prostitution.
That most are widowed and sell their body to support their family.
I came across a thumbnail for an interview with one policeman.
The thumbnail showed the policeman’s face clearly.
My instincts told me this man is no good.
I judged him to be callous and corrupt.
I felt sure in my judgement.
Then I transcribed his hour-long interview.
The most wise, compassionate and driven man spoke back at me.
He understood the realities of prostitution.
He had spent his life supporting the vulnerable.
He had even given his home to orphans.
I felt ashamed in my rush to judgment.
It is easy to form opinions on others with little evidence.
It satisfies the brain’s desire to understand.
But we are often wrong.
My first impression of every student at SCA has not lasted.
We get new perspectives as we get to know each other.
They’re still subject to change.
As we approach the time to pick partners I believe we should recognise this.
Some may know for sure who they would like to work with.
But we’ve only known each other for a few months.
And our perfect match may not be among our closest friends.
Whoever I am paired with, I am ready to bring passion and hard work.
But above all, I will bring an open mind.