220px-John_F._Kennedy_speaks_at_Rice_UniversitySometimes my brain connects dots in ways that even I do not understand.

Summer is quickly coming to an end, a reality that smacked me in the face this morning as the early temperatures barely hit 60 degrees. It is September; in fact, today is the 13th anniversary of 9/11, a date that escapes no one’s attention, including mine. This week also marks the beginning of a new adventure for the agency, as our firm’s president sets up our newest outpost in South America (Chile, to be specific).

And my brain has been keenly focused on why.

Why does summer have to pass so quickly?  I am still pulling rock salt out of the cuffs of my slacks, and suddenly the sun is setting at 7:45, the nights are getting cooler and the playgrounds and community pools are empty.

Why did 9/11 ever happen? What was the point? Who gained anything from that stupid act of unprompted violence? And why, 13 years later, does it feel like none of us has the necessary closure to let it go? Why do we cling to this day of sadness?

Why South America? Twelve years ago, some asked me “why go to North Carolina? Why do you need an office in the south, and why Wilmington?” And despite our success, they now ask “why Chile?”

And suddenly all the dots connect. And I hear the voice of John F. Kennedy. And I am comforted.

“But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas? We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.”

We choose to do what we do because we can, because we should, and sometimes simply because we want to. It is in this singular act that our humanity is declared and defined. We are blessed with the freedom, the ability and the desire to choose. So, why not?

Jim Sweeney


Jim is a veteran of the agency industry and the founder of Sweeney. He is uncommonly passionate about the idea of creating and implementing insanely great marketing campaigns that achieve insanely great results. He pioneered the full-service, full-circle agency model and continues to forge new ideas in an ever-changing industry. And he is accessible to everyone about anything, seemingly all the time, serving as a mentor to all agency personnel and clients.