The New Economics Will Be People

So I went to a coffee shop this morning and was struck by the utter efficiency they were churning out drinks. In fact the team lead said this much as encouragement to the six other workers behind the counter.

I walked in. Smiled at the barista. Was greeted with a blank stare as he continued to froth the milk and deliver the piping hot skinny latte with extra foam to the drive-thru. I walked to the register and was passed with nary a glance…even when the team lead said “Hello.” No she didn’t look at me, but made sure that her metric of greeting a guest in the first ten seconds was met. A box that is checked. That’s what I was. A large dark roast with no room for cream and sugar. And surely there was no saccharin here. There was utility and efficiency.

In all our pandering for growth our marketing of environment is nothing more than a marketing tool. The timers and grids for efficiency have crowded out the thing that matters. The only thing that matters in products.

You see, the products that are pushed are labeled as though they were made for you. In reality, the products being sold to you have (for the most part) been made for the manufacturer. People have merely become a means to the end of bigger, faster, better.

In the new economy, people will matter more.

They won’t matter because they need to matter to grow the business. Too often companies tell you that you’re important because they want your money. They don’t want to make a difference as much as they want their new car or luxury vacation.

I want to say this loud and clear. In the new economy, people will be the end in themselves. They will no longer be viewed as a metric or a number. In the new economy, mom and pop will be sought after. Because, after all, we all know that the verbiage of how you matter to company x is just verbiage. It’s merely eliciting a response for another end.

In the new economics, people will want to matter. They will flock to the place where they are known by name. And not just to tout the “community” of an establishment. Did you notice the subtlety of that one? No, people will know your name because they know you and you matter. Your name is not known just to brag that you matter and sell the belonging you too can have if you buy your next skinny latte with extra froth…hold the pandering.

We are not there yet because executives are still measuring. Measuring people. Yet, what the new economy will have to embrace is not a spreadsheet or a graph. They will be forced to embrace people. Not to grow their graph. But to grow their own soul.

Infirm Firmament

We are but a breath
Gone as quickly as our names are spoken
expired as – soon – as our own is gone
utterances in the night that are soon broken

We are but a mist
Though thick in the night
is chased away at the dawning of the heat
Gone forever from our own sight

darkness

Millions upon myriads of mists before
countless cajillions to follow
Just the same, unchanging, yet passing all semblance of the firm
yes.

An infirm
An infirmity

yet

A sickness that kills to life.
Mortality is not a close, but an opening to the true and beautiful and real
The firmament is clouds and nitrogen and oxygen and that which we cannot grasp
Yet it’s firmness is taken to lungs and moves the trees and moves the people

That which is ephemeral is eternal

That which is eternal is seen in part

But we see the part and take for the whole
Selling our souls for the tripe soup
Giving our firmament for the frail
This is not all there is
Our temporality beckons us to not waste the breath
It reminds us that breathing is what we are

Plant your feet on the ground and know that flesh will give way to new flesh
Rock and vale and cloud and mountain will not tumble
They will grow
They will stay
As we pass away under the mists of life
As our memory slips from our partners in life
Our children’s children will faintly remember as a water color faded on the parchment

Don’t spend your breath for that which passes away
Speak it with confession and live forever
Not on clouds
But in the world. The real to come.

There Never Was a Day

There never was a day when you did not cry

Yeah, deep down inside.

Underneath the laughter and sarcasm and glances,

You’d find your soul weeping and thrashing about

Looking deep down inside

Looking for hope and meaning and purpose

When everything. Everyone around you said there wasn’t.

And you came to believe them.

There was no future.

Was.

 

But now. Now you see that today is your future.

For today was tomorrow. And yet, here you are.

Standing smack dab in the middle of it all.

Head swirling. Soul teeming with

Regret.

That you didn’t live yesterday in light of today.

You twittered it away longing for your status to be liked.

And silence.

A thumb to the eye.

 

No. There never was a day you found solace and contentment because you failed to stare the now in the face and say “Thank you.”

 

Today you have the moment to live in the future. To pour it out and spend it all for tomorrow will be today.

And today will only matter in light of today that is yet to be.

Don’t waste this moment. Don’t wish away this moment.

Right now is your siren call to live.

To a life of purpose. But it comes tomorrow.

Stop whining and wishing. Take up your mantle–whatever it may be–and wave it like a banner

Declaring who you are and that you have come to live.

 

For there never was a day that did not matter.

There never was a day that compared to today.

Five Tips for Dating Your Child

I took my second child on a date this morning. It’s something we have been trying to implement to give one-on-one time with me, but have not made it a reality. This time was so significant for me as my sweet girl danced freely when a fun song came on at Starbucks this morning. She smiled and laughed and told me about swim team. It was so delightful to not think about the projects I had to execute today at work. It was a sweet hour together.
As I’ve reflected on our time this morning, I thought I’d share five encouragements for you if you’d like to start taking your kids out on dates.

1. Be present. So much of our days are spent thinking about the next thing or what we haven’t done yet or how poorly we did something. The best way to be present is to kill distractions. Kill distractions and give life to your child. Put your phone on silent and turn it face down on the table. 


2. Look into his or her eyes. With the first tip taken care of, this ought to be super easy. But because we have implicitly learned not to look at people when they are talking (because we’re “multi-tasking”), we need to make a concerted effort to look at the person. This is cumulative. Don’t stare like you are trying to look at them in the eyes–though staring is better than looking away!
3. Ask questions. This would seem like a no-brainer, but too often parents are not asking questions. They are merely stating. They are saying “Yes” and “No”. This is not the time where you go over family rules and expectations. You are not pouring into the well, you are seeking to draw out from the deep well of your child’s heart. Feel free to default to “Why?” This easily translates into a rabbit hole of conversation and communicates that you care. Do not have an agenda, so that when you do have to have a talk you have already communicated your child is valuable by not having agendas before. It’s a liberating thing to know that dad is not only talking to me because he wants me to do something. Put yourself in your child’s shoes. Do you like friends who only talk to you when they want something from you?
4. Splurge on a treat. With our culture’s slow shift to healthier foods, we have often kept sweets out of the mouths of our kids. Don’t feel guilty on getting a doughnut for your child. Let this time be so out of the ordinary that they are sure to remember it. Tank them up on sugar!! In fact, it might do your soul well to get that triple chocolate cake doughnut too. Carrots and celery can be consumed later. 
5. Share one thing you are thankful for in your child’s life. This can be an accomplishment, but even better is something about their character.