EPIC Engage is about engaging thought, will and action. We challenge preconcieved notions; not out of the need to be divisive or contrarian… but the deep desire to advance both conversation and practice for the greater good. Our intention is to build stronger and sustainable companies, campuses and communities; wholehearted in nature, healthy and prosperous.
With that in mind, the following is my opinion… both deeply held and hard earned.
Black Friday is contrived. It is crass, and it is fully commercial, in the worst of ways. It is ultimately a Black Hole serving only excessive profits over sustainable commerce, economies and communities. — BLG
Well, now I have gone and said it! Some would say, “So?” Some would argue that we need to sell more stuff so that we can employ more people. I say, yes, stuff is good; stuff we need. Still, Black Friday is about the relentless nature of stuff. My fave band Shinedown sings to its nature here. Now, are you tired? Overwhelmed? Exhausted? While, I love the energy of the song, the intent is not lost on me.
The thought that we need to constantly buy more stuff in order to run an economy forgets the notion that maybe services are another and much more labour-intensive way to employ people. Service is business; labour-driven business. The desire for excessive profits is the primary motivation for the argument of commercialism. “Buy stuff, employ people” is born of the notion that employment comes from manufacturing. Real employment comes from labour. Real labour comes from service.
Real and sustainable commerce comes from service and labour.
For example, one revolutionary thought briefly considered in the meltdown of 2009 was what if we produced new models of cars every second or third year and kept cars longer; instead of workers building cars, what if we employ people in maintaining them? What if we employed people in the services of maintaining both stuff and ourselves? Mechanics, therapists, cleaners, doctors, lawyers, consultants, lawn care providers, educators, counselors, advisors, musicians, entertainers, maintenance workers and more; what if our economy thrived on service? What if it was sustainability and service over stuff? Service employment is not just about restaurants or cheap labour. Professional services could be where we spend our money, employing people and taking care of ourselves and others; maintaining and upkeeping and repairing. The Millennium Falcon approach, I call it. Find something, keep it, and build upon it.
This is not a message against business and commerce. I am a business educator and entrepreneur. What it is actually is a call to a healthier business and economic model. The religion of commercialism is exhaustive and unsustainable. A real economy is neither of those; and stuff-driven commercialism can suck the spirit out of people, families and communities. It can, it does, and it has.
The business guy in me is opting out of the myth of stuff. I will opt in on the economy of service, and some stuff. Enjoy the Season, however you celebrate it. Treat yourself to service not stuff. The economy and ecology will be healthier; and so will you.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, The Unity Guy™