Wednesday, January 23rd 2019

Jan 23, 2019

Shane. Work Life Lessons From the Western Novel.

Jessica Darke, Producer



The first book in our Arcana Academy Advertising Agency Book Club this year was Shane by Jack Schaefer. It´s a charming Western novel about a mysterious stranger, the family he boards with, and the feuding salon-size town they find themselves in. The novel was written in 1946 and shares some of its old world charm in the simple, no-nonsense sentence structure.

Shane is told from the point of view of a small boy named Bob and from his innocent vantage point, we are able to slow down and appreciate some of the subtle nuance of our adult world.

There are 3 lessons I extracted from the book and will work to integrate into my advertising world existence, which at times is much like a small, western town. Ok, not really, except for the drinking part. Kidding. Ok, not really.

1. Finding Flow

Shane and Joe, our narrator´s father, spend a whole day cutting up a giant, rotted tree. Afterward, they are elated and content. Our narrator, does a child-size job of beginning to understand how and why these grown men have found a sense of the sublime by working harder and longer than normal.

2. Let it Go

At the end of the story, Shane mounts his horse and rides back into the frontier.

When a project is complete, sometimes there is nothing more we can do than sit back and let it run its course in the world.

3. The Good Guys Win

Ok, so this one doesn´t always apply, but I like to think it does. This Western motif of the good guys outing the bad, is a reminder to be good in this world, to stand up in the duel against evil, to act with integrity, and to carry yourself with honor.

For anyone who hasn´t read Shane, I´d recommend it.

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