I remember when I was a child noticing the oddity of McDonalds being cheaper than the expensive Whole Foods lunch. After this noticing, I kept asking the question to myself as to why this was true. I knew that Whole Foods was healthier than McDonalds, but yet, more hamburgers were sold. It seemed to me that things were flipped, and I wasn’t sure why. I noticed the same type of established “flippedness” when I say that the majority of people that got and paid for gym memberships also didn’t go to the gym very much, but were the first to mention they had said membership. In order for one to get you moneys worth out of a gym membership, you’d have to go for at least an hour six days a week. The majority of people with a gym membership only participates in gym activities 2-3 times per week, less than half. Another, and my final example of this, is when I noticed that most people spend their time on social media sites exchanging emotional blows with others that are also emotionally driven instead of learning from the vast sea of knowledge that is available to us on the net. My question has always been; why?
In science, when something isn’t working, or seemingly flipped, per the outcome that was expected, we look at the system that is in place. In this case we need to back up a few steps in order to understand what the intended outcome of some of these practice are. In this age of mass capitalism, it seems the major driving force behind everyone’s actions is profit. Therefore, the systems that are put into motion involve maximizes sales and recurring customers. In theory there is nothing wrong with this. The issue lies within what we are selling those dedicated customers. Meaning, if you can make it cheaper, that doesn’t mean you should. Recently, there was an excellent interview on NPR with entrepreneur/CEO August Turak, who describes business practices and operations seen through the eyes of a trappist monks. Turak(MTV), goes on to talk about how the monks are the ultimate businessmen because they are required to provide for themselves(electricity, water, and housing), ironically, just like everyone yes. The difference is in how the approach their work day. Turak goes on to outline that the monks spend only fours a day working and the remainder of the day in prayer, producing some of the highest quality products in the region. The conclusion of the interview ends with a very candid statement from August stating, “It is in your best interest to leave your best interest behind.”
The monks are able to hit their work as an act of prayer/meditation an their prayer/meditation as an act of work — they are intertwined. Each action they take has a direct link to their purpose of serving the very best way possible.
When we take a look at why everything seems flipped or the maybe the world seems flat, we must look at how the services rendered are approached. Are they approached with our best interests in mind? Everyone needs to make money and support themselves, that is the system — so lets not make money the issue. But, in the end we should look at the purpose behind the actions. This is probably one of the most valuable insights we can have as a consumer.