Brand Loyalty & Weaselly Tyres
If you’ve received a personal delivery from us then it’s more than likely that the bloke standing on your doorstep was me. It’s even more likely that the delivery vehicle I arrived in it was an old off white Land Rover that’s been in our family since 2007. It’s not exactly the most environmentally friendly vehicle and nor is it particularly comfortable to be in or to drive – in fact: it’s loud, it leaks, it has the turning circle of a cargo ship and it’s positively agricultural. I do, however, assuage my conscience by having a very eco-friendly hybrid as my alternative transport. It’s a vehicle that makes hedgehogs sing, pheasants dance and me just that little big smug.
So why do I drive the Land Rover when it is so damned uncomfortable, cold, noisy and wet? I guess it’s all down to a brand loyalty I feel for some deep seated and entirely unknown reason – I’m not an avid off-roader, I don’t do auto jumble or read magazines about Land Rovers – somehow, somewhen, the brand was simply imprinted on me and I’m a fan beyond all logic or reason. Some might call that madness. Others see it as pure brand loyalty and whilst I do get a kick out of purring almost silently along the roads and seeing the MPG well into 3 figures it maybe is not the ideal thing to deliver to wilder reaches of Dorset during the Hedging Season.
All I can say, is a very big thank you to the kindly AA gent who helped me out when one of my tyres lost an argument with a shredded portion of blackthorn hedge over towards Maiden Newton on my way to Cerne Abbas – alas, the weaselly tyres on the eco friendly virtue wagon were no defence to the dagger like twiglets strewn across the road. The virtue wagon, being the modern thing that it is, has no spare wheel, jack or any other tools. Instead it has a wee zip up bag laughingly called a “Tire (sic) Mobility Kit” comprising a tin of sealing gunk and a plug in compressor. Which bright spark thought that would do the trick to seal a gaping wound a reasonably slim mouse could squeeze through seriously wants their bumps felt. No alternative but to call out the AA. On arrival, there were a lot of dark mutterings about so called Tire Mobility Kits…
So maybe that’s why I drive that Land Rover – it gets me to and from deliveries whatever perils the road flings up and in all weather conditions. Yes, I feel good driving a hybrid but going through puddles and fords (of which we have a plenty around here) is a bit like driving a toaster into a car wash – so, on balance, I’m going to stick with the Land Rover whenever the route suggests anything other than smooth tarmac all the way there and back. That way, orders get out on time and I get to keep my wheels full of air.
Three types of kindness
I quote this directly from Seth Godin - inventor of Yahoo and now a modern day soothsayer...
I like it. Hope you do, too.
There is the kindness of ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ And the kindness of “I was wrong, I’m sorry.” The small kindnesses that smooth our interactions and help other people feel as though you’re aware of them. These don’t cost us much, in fact, in most settings, engaging with kindness is an essential part of connection, engagement and forward motion.
And then there is the kindness of dignity. Of giving someone the benefit of the doubt. The kindness of seeing someone for the person that they are and can become, and the realization that everyone, including me and you, has a noise in our heads, a story to be told, fear to be danced with and dreams to be realized.
And there’s another: The kindness of not seeking to maximize short-term personal gain. The kindness of building something for the community, of doing work that matters, of finding a resilient, anti-selfish path forward.
Kindness isn’t always easy or obvious, because the urgent race to the bottom, to easily measured metrics and to scarcity, can distract us. But bending the arc toward justice, toward dignity and toward connection is our best way forward.
Kindness multiplies and it enables possibility. When we’re of service to people, we have the chance to make things better.
Nuff said. It's what we strive to do. Everyday.