Value in Unexpected Places

I feel a great need to apologize for how much I’ve been slacking lately in my writing. Not only that I’ve been writing infrequently but I feel like there has opened up this wide chasm between me and my words. Or as if I’ve been writing for you on autopilot without putting my soul into it. For this, I’m deeply sorry.

For reasons I’m not yet ready to reveal, I’ve been rather emotionally distracted. Being torn in many different directions, between my three dissimilar jobs, also does not help my mental clarity. I’m hopeful that I might be at the end of this slump. For a while now I’ve been wanting to tell you about one of these jobs. I think that today I might be up for the task.

In passing I believe I mentioned that one of my jobs is writing web copy for a marketing company. What this means is that I’m writing the content for businesses’ websites. For example, I’ve written articles on fireplace inserts and stoves for a hearth and home company. Not always super sexy, it’s beginning to pay the bills and uses my background doing research for writing.

There is one client I am truly passionate about writing for. It’s a diet supplement. When I got the email asking if I would be interested in writing for this client I was genuinely thrilled. Though I said my only obsession has been men, this isn’t entirely true. I’m a little obsessed with reading about nutrition, wellness and weight loss. Not enough to read books about it but I’ve read many many articles. And, out of maybe a sort of sick curiosity, I sometimes click on those web ads about losing weight just to see what latest thing is being peddled (one time I found one that was basically an antioxidant rich laxative-great right?). The idea that one day someone might click on an ad that would lead to my articles, anonymous though they are, filled me with great satisfaction.

I guess you could say I took the job at first thinking of it a little as a joke. Or cheap amusement. I’ve been surprised by the satisfaction and enjoyment I’m actually finding writing for this client.

Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised because it’s obvious from how much I’ve written about weight loss and struggling with food that health and wellness are something I care about deeply. But usually I think about supplements as being in the same category as what I call kick diets or fad diets. Which is another way of saying that I think of them as temporary solutions that often end up doing more harm than good. But this supplement is different, it is simply a natural mood enhancer that can help people who struggle with compulsive eating to snack and eat less. It doesn’t peddle itself as anything else and is pretty upfront about the need to pair it with a lifestyle change for success.

Along with writing articles about the supplement itself, which is made from an extract of saffron, I’m actually getting to write articles about things like the problems with yo-yo dieting and give tips on changing one’s lifestyle. It’s very satisfying that I’m being paid to utilize my mild obsession and personal experience to benefit others.

It strikes me as incredibly Providential that God would provide this opportunity through a marketing job. I can’t help but think about how most of the people I know in the philosophy world condemn marketing outright because of its implication in consumerism. I’ve never agreed with them (I think most of their critiques of capitalism and consumerism are rather off the mark) but it is nice to be a part of something that illustrates the shortsightedness of their critiques. That the economy, though it is about the exchange and consumption of goods and money, can be about more. That it can be positive.

Part of what I wrote about in my master’s thesis is conscious capitalism. The concept that the economy and business can serve a higher purpose than pure profit. This company, though it may not seem radical at all, is one example. Of course, the company wants to make money. It has to. But it is obvious that the owners are sincerely passionate about helping people to improve their health and their lives. They are not trying to sell a false and unsustainable lifestyle but a product that has the potential to aid people as they adopt better habits and develop a healthier relationship with food. That’s a purpose worth being passionate about, worth being in business for.

A great satisfaction of living outside of academia is experiencing more of the nuances of reality. How it can challenge or support theory. Or maybe that’s just satisfying for me.

One thought on “Value in Unexpected Places

  1. Very interesting hearing about (one of) your new jobs! I was wondering what you were writing and it sounds like you’re enjoying it and feeling passionate about it :) I’m playing the waiting game for jobs, praying for patience. P.S. I love the title for this post!

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