Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Pause After The Storm

This morning I got an email from Bloomingdale’s with the eye catching header, “ Just In: Coats You Can’t Live Without.” I’m aware enough to know that email was preplanned and already in the cue to be sent. That whoever prepared it had no idea that it would go out and be received at 9:30AM, the Tuesday morning after Sandy brutally wrecked havoc through the Northeast, hitting among others, three different states I have lived in.

Still, I couldn’t help but wince. I couldn’t stop thinking of all the people without electricity or running water, whose homes had been destroyed, some of whom the storm cost them their lives.  Who at the moment are living without so much of what we consider in 2012 to be modern day necessities. People, who if they had power and access to a computer right now, might like me, find such a solicitation a bit offensive.

Bloomingdale's was not alone. There was more in my inbox. News of the Kardashian sisters enjoying a sunny outing in Miami, an invitation to treat myself to a new skin cleanser, and one who knowingly sidestepped the storm and offered a cooking lesson and promoted a new cookbook.

Did they really think that while the winds were howling past my window last night and I worried about the crane next door swinging into my building and when my mother would get her electricity back, I was also thinking I needed a new skin cleanser and maybe a new recipe? 

I know. Life goes on after the storm. There is money to be made. Let’s move on. Get past it. Blah, blah, blah. I was once a sales director and now an entrepreneur. I know the lingo. But seriously, even the NYSE took a break today!

Now I'm about to suggest something radical here. So make sure you are sitting down.

Instead of starting to pretend a history making storm is not a big deal and start peddling our wares again before the last drop of rain falls, perhaps we all just take a moment to express some gratitude and put the sales pitch on hold. If you're feeling really wild and crazy, give it the whole day!

I know. Really drastic, right?  To suggest, to stop worrying about the money, albeit briefly, and say thank-you for what you got? 

I, personally, am humbled with gratitude today. For a safe, warm home that is not knee deep in water. For a hot shower. For power. For Internet access. For my fail-safe, old-fashioned land line. For my brother going to get my mother today.  Most importantly I am grateful that at this moment everyone I know and love is safe and well. 

We are a nation with short term memories. We like to forget the bad stuff as quick as we can and get back to the business of making money. We are fed the dialogue as marketers to take advantage of every situation, no matter what, not pausing to think, that maybe we should, for just a moment, think and do the right thing. We don't stop enough to appreciate what is. And we have a lot to appreciate.  

If Hurricane Sandy left me any lesson, it was a reminder of just how lucky a girl I am. I’m going to seep in that today, before I start peddling my wares again and or go worrying about a coat I just can’t live without.

1 comment:

April said...

You are absolutely right. In fact, some companies tried to use Sandy as part of their marketing pitch, which was in quite bad taste: http://www.aprilboland.com/blog/2012/11/07/hurricane-sandy-compassion-for-your-customer-base/

Great blog, by the way. I am currently reading your Kindle book and that's how I found you :)