Tuesday, July 08, 2008



Everyone you relate with wants something from you and you want something from them. Every one of us comes to the social marketplace to do business; We come bringing our “selves” to trade with other “selves.” We are complicated beings and “trading” is extraordinarily subtle because we do not often know what we have to offer or what it is worth. Nor do we know what, precisely, we want in return, having only a vague sense of our needs.

Occasionally, transactions are fairly clear as with prostitution, though even this trade is fraught with complexities.

I come to the marketplace bringing me–a hodge podge of talents; some are good trading material and some are not. I have a vast knowledge, a huge repertoire of memorized poems and quotes, a bare sufficiency of wealth and an assortment of useful skills . All of these hard won values I have found are not valued at the marketplace. This philosopher, poet, fount of wisdom and craftsman that I am goes empty handed home from the market. It doesn’t sell.

Luckily, there is more to me or I would have starved. I have things to trade that are valuable: skills that grew from the turmoil of my childhood. I learned to be pleasant and pleasing to others–how to listen. to respond, to scratch the incredible itch we all have to be heard and understood and appreciated. Most valuable, I learned to call forth and play with the child inside others. This is easy for me and I love to do it.

These latter skills, to my constant amazement, are much in demand at the market and I regularly come home with full baskets. Indeed my basket has overflowed for most of my life. Friends care for me, ladies have loved me.

I say all this to make two points: Marketgoers , all of us want value for value–however contorted they may see the exchange. We must trade for the goodies we want. It helps me immensely to learn what “sells” and what doesn’t. The things that came hardest to me, my data, does not sell. The things that came natural to me proved to be most valued in the marketplace. I suspect this is true for you too.

The second point is this: Childhood was troublesome for all of us and we all learned certain adaptive skills. I’m suggesting that these skills hold the seed of our unique genius–our most marketable skills. Oprah Winfreys’ powers were surely ignited in her troubled childhood.

I once lived with a lady who was actually raised in a chicken coop by a poverty stricken family. She grew up with a fierce passion for social justice, became a lawyer and defended death row inmates.

Now days when I’m doing poorly at the market I reflect on my childhood talents.

Randy Vining 7/8/08


Scotsman2001 said...

I think you'll find it's a "font of wisdom" ref: http://www.thefreedictionary.com/font

Good luck in your travels.

Fidel Guajardo said...
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Randy said...

Wow! Scottsman, I am impressed--that you read this deeply into my blog--this carefully. And of course you are right font may have been preferable. I checked fount--it means a source. a fountain or spring of water--not entirely off target either. Randy