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Views from the Prairie

December 22

Offer Hope

When the days are darkest, hope is the more needed commodity. Offer hope.

Many in this country see dark days ahead. Many feel as if they have been abandoned by institutions and their way of life is being destroyed. Many a small town is watching town life ebb away drip by drip. The insatiable appetite of the seemingly faceless forces seems unstoppable.

Offer hope.

Some people are turning to formerly fringe organizations and harsh beliefs. Others have joined rescue missions. Many are listening to political groups.

Yet, businesses do well when they offer hope to their customers.

We start by acknowledging actions that have destroyed hope. It is easy to find stories of businesses losing out because they did not value a person. Many a customer has taken their business elsewhere when an establishment treated them as someone with no value. Many a business has lost a customer by treating someone as a potential shoplifter.

We also need to acknowledge how our government has repeatedly given special consideration and tax breaks to certain corporations. Such special treatment is destroying the hope of many. For thousands of years, government special treatment and tax breaks have torn apart country after country.

We do not gain hope by destroying hope in other people nor do we get wealth by impoverishing others.

We gain hope as we help others grow, improve, and they gain hope. As we work for the good of all, we all gain more hope and together we gain greater wealth.

When offering hope to others, we can tell the stories of hope. We share how people have had disasters happen but have persevered. We share how businesses have suffered setbacks, losses, and failures yet the people continued to find new ways to thrive.

To offer hope, we start by valuing others. We offer hope as we empower our customers. A strong way to offer hope is to invest in groups that have experienced discrimination. Several beauty products firms have done quite well by offering hope to women, hope that they could have a career, a business, and support themselves away from their husbands. Likewise, venture capital investments in women run businesses are doing very well. Other groups such as Black, or Hispanic owned businesses are finding profit away from the traditional limelight.

We offer hope by having and articulating goals for everyone. We help them find the paths how to reach those goals. We seek out and get the resources needed to achieve those goals.

We also offer hope in how we pass on the business. We do that in how we take care of our employees if we sell. Or we transfer the business to our employees giving them the hope of success.

Offer hope.

Universal Social Media

At one time, AOL was the way people got email and its cheerful saying "You've got mail" was well known. AOL stock flew high. Today, it is a shadow of what it once was. Email became universal and we can get it from many places. The same will happen with social media. Social media will become universal like email and Twitter will suffer the same fate as AOL did.

In the Declaration of Independence, we find "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving the just powers from the consent of the governed." The same happens with any platform or organization where people voluntarily show up. Twitter exists only because people trusted it.

Twitter, LinkedIn, and others show that there is a need for social media. But humanity can't let one person or one company control access to social media around the world. Already, people are working on the protocols needed to allow many different platforms interact in a universal social media. These protocols do not exist yet, but we can be sure that they will in the future. Already, there are tools that will allow one person to write a post and the tool will put that post on multiple platforms.

The challenge for the platforms is how to make money off of social media. When everyone has to have access, that access will be paid for by everyone. Social media will no longer be free, but the charges will be rolled into one lump sum. Eventually, social media will be paid for by our monthly internet access fee or cell phone charges.

If you go to the AOL web site, it is loaded with ads. It still offers free email but ads are everywhere. That may be the fate of today's social media platforms.

Risky World

A combat video game maker is asking people to stop using scenes from their game when posting about the war in Ukraine. Apparently, many videos supposedly from Ukraine are actually from a game. Other videos have used scenes from Syria and chemical explosions from Beirut. Russia especially is noted for misrepresenting scenes.


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