The crux of our work is, of course, selling blankets to employ women in a job with dignity. What that means — to me — is that the artisans & administrators from our partner producers (Basha) are treated with the utmost of respect. That they are treated with the honour that would be bestowed on a diplomat, CEO, or celebrity, even if (especially if?) they were recently homeless or selling sex.
That is crucial to our story & our values.
But, what about in other parts of my business? What about in other parts of my life?
When a telemarketer or door-to-door salesperson comes by, is their dignity of utmost importance? Or, do I just want to get rid of that person to get on with my day? Do I resent the interruption, or do I treat the interruptor as I would want to be treated?
In one of the only parenting books I have embraced (well, let's be honest: that I have read at all), Barbara Coloroso emphasizes that in consequences and conflict resolution, the key importance is: keeping everyone's dignity intact.
This week, I received a call from a customer who had a question "about something on the website," and when I phoned back, it turned out it was not a customer — it was a sales call. How do I politely decline when I feel manipulated? How do I conclude our conversation with everyone's dignity intact?
I have also been working with a team on a project who finally delivered their work, 1+ month after I was expecting it, and it was a huge disappointment. I'm angry & frustrated with the work, but how do I express it without degrading the workers who completed it? How do I keep their dignity (and mine) intact?
In some ways, I think that being generous-of-spirit to the downtrodden can be the easiest — there is a lot of compassion & empathy that drives our emotions, and then our actions. But, what about everyone else? What about the people "at the top" who contribute to others' struggles? Do I have dignity for them, too, or only disdain?
I have no conclusions or personal proof, that's for sure. Mostly just questions & reflection.
Dignity: it's on my mind!
Now is a great time to spend 5-10 minutes unsubscribing to email lists you belong to.
Promotional emails are distracting, and form a lot of noise in these next couple of months (yes, I know — my weekly Keep Up email contributes, too!).
Do a scan of the regular emails you receive & ask: can I stop receiving this? Will I miss anything that I will actually suffer for not receiving? Is the content providing value to me, or is it just noise?
As this summer neared its end, Wayne & I began talking about a radical idea: quitting our Netflix subscription. I was feeling anxious about the transition from summer's never-ending days to the routine & rhythm of fall. Our kids would be in school all day (the girls, at least; our son is just half-days), and then have activities, chores, & piano practice, not to mention squeezing in their accustomed 8 hours of daily free play into what was left!
The truth is that I didn't want their extra time to be spent prioritizing shows, I wanted them to spend it with me. I think this is the kind of sappy feeling parents begin to get when they've left the all-consuming pre-school years and they glimpse how quickly time will pass before the kids are grown up.
We've listened to the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman countless times in my house (or, as my music app tells me: around 30), and the chorus of this song — "Never Enough" — keeps ringing through my head.
The song itself is about love (ie. without you, all the amazing things in the world will never be enough), but as we head into the busiest shopping season of the year, I feel like "Never Enough" is the battle cry of retail marketing.
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