One Apple A Day #1221
In his book, The Age of Heretics, Art Kleiner says that "something desperately desirable had been lost in everyday corporate life, and without it, corporations could not truly perform."
For Kleiner, this lost quality is the "vernacular spirit of everyday life."
With the word vernacular, he refers to "the quality of relationships and culture that dominated community life before the advent of the industrial age, when most work was unpaid and the workplace was indistinguishable from the hearth and commons."
In such environments, goods were made not to be sold but to be consumed. Every exchange of goods and services was more than an economic transaction; it was an expression of the community's spirit. Personal trust was the real currency.
That doesn't mean that things were happening just at a local level. Businesses were already global, but everything was so slow that still, it was more than an economic transaction. Personal and family trust was still the real currency.
Then the world sped up.
We began to make goods not to consume them but to sell them. And the vernacular spirit got lost.
This 'selling' culture has pervaded all aspects of our lives. Sometimes I feel we are all living within giant shopping windows. Trying to show the best that we have so someone can buy it. Social media feels like a perfect example of this need to show the best we have to offer, so someone can buy into it.
Am I getting old?