The challenge with capitalism is that it is a game of playing the angles. Any edge you can get, be it political, technological, parasitic, personal, or financial the system encourages. Any attempt to even the playing field, to inject some reasonableness is seen as taking away someone’s advantage, labeled as an affront to fairness, an attack on the system, called un-American. The irony is that even this objection is only a front, a tool to gain another edge.
After thirty-five years of having a crush on K., scrawling her name on the rock, carrying poems around in my head and my heart, lamenting some scene in a hallway in sixth grade, I let it go. It happened in an instant after reading she was chairman of the board of one organization and, of another, CEO. I could never have loved her in a way to make her life richer. What captain of industry should marry a fool committed to fawning over you, singing of your beauty daily?
I was taught, and learned, that running a store was about people, was about changing lives, was about pushing the human race and making the world a better place. I never gave a shit about stockholders, about P&L, about the RD coming this week who needed to be managed and wooed. My store always looked beautiful.
How about a tax based on success. At the end of the year we figure how much the government spent, how much each person is worth, and you pay your percentage. Total wealth of the US population, 10 trillion (hypothetical). Your net-worth, $2500 (assets minus debts). You owe .000025% of whatever we spent (not sure on the math there, nor the poetics).
The problem is I don’t have irrefutable evidence. Yet, even without it I’m convinced I could love you better. Convinced there is a solution. Convinced we do not need to be headed for oblivion just for playing the edges. I do things sometimes just to prove I am a better person.
What about a car that runs on wind-assist. All moving objects create resistance. Can’t we channel that through a tunnel that helps spin the front tires and recharges the battery, some sort of internal turbine. The more you’re assisted the faster you go.
A good idea is a good idea whether or not you can monetize it.
I was a great manager because I actually liked my people. I didn’t see them as loss leaders, or trouble, or vessels to some land of profit. I didn’t pit them against each other, nor us against other teams. I didn’t buy into the value of embellishment, or lying. I had no hope of fitting into a corporate structure, but that never stopped me.
I have no problem tilting at windmills.
A mentor once told me he could see me running a store, almost, except that something was missing. He couldn’t put his finger on it. I couldn’t then. Let me help you. I have no taste. I have no pitch, no sense of discerning the good things from the nearly. Little sense of what separates awesome from mediocre. I have no problem doling out effusive praise.
I would have made an amazing troubadour, a fine minstrel, one of Prufrock’s attendant lords, friend to anyone who wanted their story told, highlighter of what makes them most amazing. Your name painted on the side of a rock, your heart in a lyric, the sheer force of your piercing intellect or your compassion scrawled across the page, and indelible in my heart.
I’ll tell you daily how amazing you are. I’ll love you that much. What I won’t do is let go, to stop loving you before I know, with some indefensible proof, that you are better with another, that you’ve found your edge, that your life has become one fabulous invention. Perhaps then, when you appear to be parsecs out of my orbit I can heal, be apart from you entirely, from your everloving gravity.