Chewing the fat recently over coffee with a friend and fellow business owner, we got to discussing – and grumbling about – how ubiquitous the term authentic is in today’s business world. And by extension, if people are genuine about wanting others to be authentic – or if it’s nothing more than another tick on the buzzword bingo card.
In Oscar Wilde’s play, Lady Windermere’s Fan, the writer had his Lord Darlington character quip that: ‘a cynic is a man who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing’.
This blog post by Paul Bernal, The Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing, uses Wilde’s insightful wit to argue how our government, our businesses, our media and more are ever dominated by those that fit Wilde’s description of cynics. As he says: ‘The idea that anyone in the ‘real world’ should even consider ethical, moral, philosophical or cultural values to be on a par with financial or economic ‘value’ appears whimsical, sentimental, even romantic. Hard-nosed, sensible, rational, practical people ‘know’ otherwise. It’s the economy, stupid.’ He concludes his post thus: ‘I may not know the price of everything, but I do know that there are many things more valuable than money.’
The reason I mention all this is my increasing work with salons wishing to stock Pink&Green Skincare’s products. It’s clear that more and more salons are becoming ever more disenchanted with the global companies they’ve become tied to – and the products themselves. All of which has led me to consider value, and what it means and how we measure it.
Back in January of 2017, in our blog, The Line Between Self Interest and Selfishness, we took a look at the advice Polonius (from Shakespeare’s Hamlet), gave to his son, ‘to thine own self be true.’ As the blog explained:
‘There are many interpretations of this particular sentiment. But, cutting a long story short, one of them suggests that, in telling his son to be ‘True’ to himself, Polonius meant ‘beneficial.’ In other words, a person is best placed to take care of others only when they’ve first taken care of themselves.’
I’m not about to dispute what we all know: that beauty is more than a fortunate arrangement of agreeable features. True beauty is, absolutely, about a loving heart and a caring soul. As the great American writer, critic and wit, Dorothy Parker, once said: ‘Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone.’
The Finns have known for hundreds of years, what the rest of us have taken longer to discover – the benefits of a sauna and cold plunge. Meaning bath or bathhouse, Sauna – correctly pronounced sow (as in wow) nah is the only Finnish word in the English dictionary, and is a Finnish way of life. For the sauna is a Finnish invention from 2000 years ago. This website, Finland Sauna.Com, has more on the history of sauna.
How busy are you? We most of us complain bitterly about having too much to do. As this article from the BBC points out, ‘Few facts about modern life seem more indisputable than how busy everyone seems to be. Across the industrialised world, large numbers of survey respondents tell researchers they’re overburdened with work, at the expense of time with family and friends.’ The article goes on to suggest that the opinions of some super busy people weren’t even gathered because, according to this 2014 study, a big reason people refuse to take part in surveys is …. they’re too busy.