Who Is Family

We once knew, but we’ve forgotten. Families lived in one household or at least in one village. Maybe it was because grandma couldn’t make it otherwise, or she was respected. For whichever reason, it kept more hands available when it was needed to help raise the children. It was easy to describe your family.

I’m currently redefining family. I may be doing this for the rest of my life. I have a reel to reel that plays in my head. It looks somewhat like a small village, maybe too communal to some. There are children playing in a courtyard. The housing is surrounding a grassy area, and the commons area is a safe place. Here children can grow up with many caretakers. Many parents can care for them. Yes, they know their mother and father, but if there is a stressor in their household such as a new baby, it’s easy for another family to take them into their home.

In my vision of society, life is built for the good of people, not commerce. People are why we are here. Does it matter if there is money if there are no people to spend it? Economics is the most worthless of studies if sociology fails. And look around us. Our sociology is failing. What do we need to fix it? We have made some steps towards repairing it. We’ve recognized alternative families. Do you think this is unrealistic? I don’t think I’m alone in my thinking.

Last week I read a book called, Brand Strategy 101: Your Logo Is Irrelevant – The 3-Step Process to Build a Kick-Ass Brand, by Roy H. Williams and Michael R. Drew. They wrote about a cycle of Me verse We. Can you guess when the cycle of We started? The early 2000’s. The game changed. The slogans changed. Society shifted. Did you feel it? The authors wrote another book about it that I haven’t read yet, but I will, Pendulum: How Past Generations Shape Our Present and Predict Our Future. I’m putting that on my reading list.

Debt

Greece. Puerto Rico. Student loans. Mortgages.

The forces of debt are reshaping the world, creating dislocations and crises on a regular basis. And yet, few of us really understand how debt works.

….

If a mortgage is overdue, is it better to kick people out of the house and watch the neighborhood descend into rubble?

If 10 million Americans are overwhelmed with student debt they can’t repay, what should we do then? – Seth Godin excerpt    ( Seth references Debt, by David Graeber)

Wisdom and Wizardry

Harry Potter
Harry Potter (Photo credit: Pixelsior)

I’ve been a fan of sci-fi and fantasy stories since way back. In a land far, far away and all of that. I always wanted to be the wizard or the Yoda-like person. It seemed cool to have all of that wisdom and knowledge. What I didn’t realize when I was young was that the knowledge they had, came like everyone else. They weren’t born with it. They learned it and sometimes they learned it in very dangerous ways.

I just finished reading Skin Game by Jim Butcher from the Harry Dresden series. There’s a scene where Harry goes to the super-bad, mob guy’s business and is blocked by the security guard. The security guard is glaring ominously at Dresden and is quite intimidating. The kicker is what Dresden says,

“Skaldi’s frown would have been intimidating if I hadn’t spent the past few days hanging out with the Genoskwa (scary Sasquatch).” – Harry Dresden

Harry then proceeds to walk past the security knowing where he’s going, because he’d been there before, which looks like wizardry to the security. His only wizardry was experience.

Sometimes age and wisdom and wizardry look the same. Experience. The path and the answers are mapped out in their head. Here’s my favorite line from The Mummy,

Evelyn: The map! The map! We forgot the map!

Rick: Relax. I’m the map. It’s all up here. [points to his head]

Evelyn: Oh, that’s comforting.

Sometimes we overlook the knowledge that we have. You’ve been there, you’ve done that, you have the DVD collection. Share your knowledge if you can. Encourage others around you. It may seem ordinary to you, but the words you say are the words someone else needs to hear. None of us want to sound like a know-it-all, and there’s always a chance that you will, but another may still need your advice.