The other night, bored with election returns, I picked up a copy of Dean Acheson’s book, “Present At The Creation, My Years In The State Department,” and began to leaf through it. Acheson, you may recall, was Secretary of State under President Harry S. Truman. He was not only there at the creation of the post World War II world, but was one of its principal architects.
Facing the title page of the book was the following quotation from Alphonso X, the Learned, King of Spain (1252-84):
“Had I been present at the creation I would have given some useful hints for the better ordering of the universe.”
This very profound thought still has signficance today.
What does it all mean, being present at the creation? In the context of this blogsite it means, to improve your present circumstances, take full advantage of existng opportunities. I’m reminded of Thomas Jefferson, who, as president, signed off on the Louisiana Purchase back in 1803. He seized the opportunity for the United States, still in its infancy, to double its size while increasing national security. To be more explicit:
It was the hallmark of Thomas Jefferson’s political philosophy that the Chief Executive should not have excessive power. Yet, in 1803, when faced with the opportunity to purchase from France the vast, unexplored, Louisiana Territory which bordered on the western side of America, he signed the agreement to buy the territory for $15 million.
Jefferson’s visionary act removed a potential threat to America’s national security. One option was to take no action at all, thus leaving Napoleon, builder of empires, in possession of the territory. But Jefferson, taking the advice of American commissioners abroad, decided on the purchase. Paving the way for this historical event was the work of John Adams, Jefferson’s predecessor, in securing peace with France during the so-called “Quasi War.”
There was considerable doubt as to the constitutional power to make such a purchase. But when the issue came before the Supreme Court in 1828, Chief Justice John Marshall, speaking for the Court, ruled that “the Constitution confers absolutely on the government…, the powers of making war, and of making treaties; consequently, that government possesses the power of acquiring territory, either by conquest or by treaty.”
Jefferson was ever the pragmatist. Understanding that America was still very young and in its formative stages, and although he had to sacrifice certain of his constitutional ideals, he saw an opportunity to strengthen the country and took advantage of it.
The Jefferson-Louisiana Purchase vignette is not directly related to writing, but the point is, whenever you are creating any writing, you are there “at the creation.” The writing itself can open up a new world of opportunity for you. The power of the written word and what it can do should not be underestimated. The secret to maximizing this power is to strive for perfection in your writing. This means paying close attention to its presentation or organization, first, and second, the content itself.
Well organized writing, properly captioned, with excellent content, using ample white space and good paragraphing, will go a long way to selling your writing and yourself. Don’t miss an opportunity to sell yourself, or your product or service, because your writing was poorly organized and poorly written. Good organization of your writing and creation of well written, quality content can help to “seal the deal.”
Coming up in forthcoming blogs: more tried and tested clear writing techniques to help you reach your goals.
Copyright 2012. Arnold G. Regardie. All rights reserved.