We’re All In This Together

You’re an artist and you play to make yourself happy.  Having spent some of my life as a performing musician, I know the joys of practicing (and that’s not sarcasm) to get better and do things you couldn’t before.  But I believe it would be hard to find any performer who didn’t think it was even better when you had an audience there to support you and show you some love for all that hard work.  You’re in it together.

I saw my barber yesterday.  He’s 74 years old, looks 62, has had some health issues and could probably retire tomorrow and sell the shop.  But he won’t because, as he said,  “some of these guys have been with me 34 years and I can’t put them out of work now.”  He takes way less cash out of the shop than he could so he doesn’t have to cut the wages or benefits of his crew.  He figures he has Social Security coming in and they don’t.  They’re in it together.

Have you seen the footage of a reporter ranting on CNBC about the notion he may have to pay the neighbor’s mortgage, particularly if they bought far more house than they could actually afford?  No question that some folks abused the system and that others were just stupid.  But it’s just as true that if my neighbors lose their homes the situation is compounded by “the system” (you and me) having to support them and my home value declining in response to all the foreclosed homes in the area.  Like it or not, we’re in it together.  By the way, genius – 92% of mortgages are up to date and you’re paying more money to fund the bonuses of guys who probably don’t need the extra $20 million his year than you are to help out a neighbor and protect your home value.  Yes, don’t just hand people checks for making mistakes but help them correct the error without ruining their lives, OK?

I thought we had figured this out during the Renaissance.  Almost 400 years ago, John Donne wrote that “no man is an island”.  As you’re listening to what’s going on – in your business and in your life – ask yourself if that simple fact – we’re in it together – is being taken into account or being ignored.

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2 Comments

Filed under Helpful Hints, Reality checks, Thinking Aloud, What's Going On

2 responses to “We’re All In This Together

  1. Pingback: The Wisdom of Barbers « Consult Keith

  2. Ed

    While no man is an island, stealing from one group to give to another is simply theft. If I did it, I would go to jail. If the law does it, that’s just a perversion of the justice the law is supposed to deliver.

    Here’s a bit written over 100 years ago, that is extremely relevant today.

    http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html#SECTION_G1793

    The entire thing is a great read, although I believe that section is relevant here.

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