Last night I met with a group I had been a member of for several years. It was a reunion of sorts. All of us had come to know each other rather well in the years we met regularly but business and living crowded in and the glue that held the group together slowly vanished.
Suzie arrived next. We did the usual “how’s things,” and settled into wait for the others. I told her I was struggling with what to write about in a pre-Thanksgiving blog.
She asked, “What are you thankful for?”
I told her about my family and friends plans for Thanksgiving… a daughter winging her way cross country to the upper left corner and a couple I first started celebrating the holiday with to satisfy my ex’s desire to have a bigger gathering when her family was scattered across the USA.
As each of the others came in I asked, “What are you thankful for?”
All of them, in one way or another said family and friends and the renewal of their ties that happens around this special meal.
In the light of a suicidal terrorist attack in Paris and in Mali in just the last few days preceded by the bombing of a Russian passenger plane I find it hard to ponder what we might do to change the dreams of those that kill instead of rejoicing in life.
Family, Friends, Tribe, Religion, Nation, World seems to be the hierarchical order of the emotions that drive homo sapiens.
Family is not always a positive space. Somehow, Mother Nature allows us the wonder of children that turn into teenagers. Then somewhere in their early twenties they discover that their parents are not the dolts they thought them to be. But in some cases trust fails and that void just widens.
Friends come and go. Friendship appears to be dependent on both sides being willing to compromise, learn from the other and respect the other’s differences. The foundation is trust.
Tribes, unless you are Native American, tend to be a matter of where you grow up seasoned by race, intelligence, income and raw courage. But then again, the simple wearing of a selected color can make you part of the in group or the out group. Trust is between individuals. It is never uniform.
Religion is a tricky one. I have friends that are Agnostic, Hindu, Jewish, Mormon, six different kinds of Christian, Zoroastrian and several, like most of humanity, still searching. But no one close to me is a follower of Islam. That, I trust, I can fix.
Nation is becoming less and more of a defining difference. It is less so for the first generation or one that is backed into a corner by tribalization. It is more so if assimilation occurs. It comes down to not allowing things that get in the way of friendship, the trinkets that separate tribes and the suspicions that surround religions to get in the way of the trust that is basic to human nature.
It is one world. There is no argument with that. The argument is over who is to be in charge. I trust we can work that out.
The only way forward, in my view, is to stop asking someone else to trust the stranger. You can do that as an individual but you can’t do it as a tribe or a religion or a nation. You can only do it as an individual. Find a way you can do it. Help your friends do it. Keep it personal.
Jerry Fletcher’s blog recaps conversations with clients, prospects and the unruly mob of business development professionals he consorts with. They discuss marketing that works from solopreneur to enterprise level. Jerry Fletcher is the ringleader and “Watson” of the dialogue. Sign up for the blog and other publications at: www.JerryFletcher.com/Profit.html
Jerry has been researching and implementing small business marketing that builds businesses, careers and lives of joy for 25 years as President of Z-axis Marketing, Inc. Learn more at www.JerryFletcher.com
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