Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Reorientation of Enough

"The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom; for we never know what is enough until we know what is more than enough." - William Blake

Are we wise yet? For the past few weeks my colleagues and i have been thinking about the idea of "enough-ness," and how it relates to the present economy and the future of culture. This idea isn't new, it's been written about by smart people before us but we have, on past projects, found this idea to resonate strongly with certain groups. They talk about "having enough." Enough money, enough space, enough stuff...people just want enough. What does that mean? I asked my dad. He said, "You can never have enough."

You can never have enough. Is that true? It's not neccessarily a bad thing, it just depends on what you're after and what you want more of. It doesn't have to be could be those touchy-feely things like fun or knowledge or love. You can never have enough time. I think a lot of people would agree with that.

But in economic terms, we ARE talking about money though for some reason i dont think people are thinking about their money. That's how we got into this mess. People dont care about their money. if they did, they would have more of it. It would be displayed in frames around their homes. Instead, there are pictures of the people they love--their children, their parents and friends and anybody else they care about. People display travel photos or art they love. People care about relationships with others and the relationship they have with themselves. They don't care about their money. It's not even fun to think about. A means to an end.

So when do people really connect "Enough" to money? Well, i think we saw an entire nation do it recently with the AIG bonuses. The president himself was outraged at the inflated bonus payments given to executives who didn't earn or deserve them. Those executives clearly had enough. It feels easier to judge the enoughness of others. It is ESPECIALLY easy to judge the enoughness of faceless corporations. Companies are big these days, and the bigger the company the less you can trust it. As they grow and diversify their offerings interests become entangled and individuals lose accountability. News stories like the AIG debacle only remind me that as a consumer I must vote with my dollar and each purchase supports a cause. Some causes have way more than enough.

But who has the time, really? I mean, who has the time to make sure each dollar spent is aligned with one's personal values? AND what are our personal values? That's the real question. Here is a suggestion: Since we are all clearly NOT spending much money these days we should, in theory, have some time on our hands. Maybe we should take a month to write down all the things that are important to each of us...then group those words and phrases...and condense them down to a few key personal values. then write them down on a piece of paper the size of a dollar bill and stick that in your wallet. Before you buy something, pull out the paper and just take a second to consider the choice you are making. Ask yourself why do i want to buy this thing, and is there a competitive product/brand that aligns with your values better?

p.s. in reality and for full disclosure, i would probably NEVER actually do this.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Friday, March 13, 2009

How to deal with bad news:

A note from my personal buddah...

"UGh I am SICK and tired of everyone freaking out over the ecomomy. so WHAT?! 

Destroy all the wealth, i don't fucking care. Yeah, i know it affects everyday people and not so much the the wealthy high class people, and yeah, the rich may get richer and the poor may get poorer, but I say, have some fucking GUTS and DEAL with it!!! 

What the hell are people made of these days?! Are all of these past couple generations a bunch of fucking pussies? It sounds like it. Maybe Gen Z will be forced to grow some fucking balls, and we'll restore some of that american spirit we're all so fond of.

I see this economy crisis as exciting!! Let's see what happens. So, tons of people lose their jobs, now what, let's see what creative ways we can fix it. Life is a all about process. We are animals with advanced brains. we have legs that can walk and hands that can make food come out of the ground. We will band together as human beings and figure this out together, because we have to. Because it is human instinct to want to survive, and we're not just all going to drop dead just because the economy sucks. we're going to do whatever it takes, amybe a lot of bad shit will happen, maybe a lot of good, but does it matter? 

This is what is happening now, so let's all adapt to the circumstances and adjust accordingly."

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Wednesday, March 4, 2009