I have always been mesmerised by how high the service is in developing countries, especially in Asia. I am writing this blog post from Hoi An, Vietnam, where you walk into any shop and they will greet you with extreme politeness, ask where you are from and be completely at your disposal to ensure you get what you walked in for.
I suppose the main reason behind this is most sales people (be it food, drink, clothes or other services) are also the owners of the business, whereas in Britain, the business owner and the sales person are very different entities and perhaps do not even know each other.
This made me think about small businesses and how important they are for the future of a prosperous and happy society. In order for individuals to grow in a content environment they need to be able to create and achieve that which they feel they can.
Now, I am not saying that we are all put on this earth to be business owners, as many people do not wish to do anything of the kind, however the facility to create and start up a service is still not as open as it is in many other countries.
Thankfully, the British are a lot more open minded to an entrepreneurial spirit than many in Europe; France jumps to mind, however the amount of large corporations continues to empower and destroy the possibility of individuals giving it a go. The competition is just too fierce.
It is simple for large companies to take talent from individuals and stick their faces on top of their billboard. Of course, many individuals like this and that is why they accept to be sponsored or bought by a large firm. They have created something- be it a product or a service, or simply a personality (think youtube channels, supermarkets, designer shops) and someone has taken a huge load off their shoulders by helping them become “bigger” and more famous. Why not? They deserve it.
But... the question is not: why not? The question is: why? Why do we want to be famous? Why do we want to be “somebodies?” Because we are invisible to one another and therefore the hope to be even a little visible is so empowering that people do anything they can do have that.
I want to live in a world where I walk down the street and I am famous. And not the kind of billboard famous, the kind of famous that people know who I am because I have personal contact with them. That’s what feeling like an individual is, isn’t it?
If everything is industrialised and franchised up into a huge pile of zero quality garbage then our houses are going to continue to fill up with junk and our contact with one another will continue to weaken.
How about this world: A world where handcrafted objects and handmade food are sold directly to one another. The love and care taken to create that item was transferred simply in the process of selling it on. That’s the kind of world I want to live in. How about you?