Roughly 10 percent of the American population is worried about having enough money to pay the rent and enough food in the pantry to make it until payday. A good day is when their biggest fear is whether or not the car will start and get them to work. This is called living “hand-to-mouth.”
I did it for years. Perhaps you’ve done it, too.
Another 10 percent of America has these basic needs met but a dysfunctional household – or perhaps a troubled neighborhood – keeps them from feeling safe. These unhappy souls wear the dark handcuffs of fear and dread as they walk silently through what David called, “the valley of the shadow of death.”
I don’t pretend to have a solution.
At the other end of the spectrum are the 15 percent whose biggest concern is whether or not they’re getting sufficient recognition from the people whose opinions matter to them.
And then there are the rest of us, the 65 percent in the middle who are “figuring-it-out-as-we-go.” Usually, our greatest need is that we’re searching for where we belong. Each of us is looking for the mirror tribe who will finally see us and know us and value us and miss us when we are absent.
Pennie and I spent the last 15 years building a place for that tribe to meet. These Monday Morning Memos are a sort of homing beacon…
Okay, I’m back now. I had to wipe a tear from my cheek as the gushing memory of a friend flooded my mind. I wasn’t thinking of him when I began this piece, but the words “homing beacon” burst the dam of a memory I’ve decided to let flow.
More than a dozen years ago I decided to teach a class about unleashing your Intuition. We called it “Free the Beagle.” As is my custom, I opened that class by having each of the 30 students stand up and tell us their names and a little bit about themselves. The last person to stand was a white-haired man sitting in the far corner of the back row.
My name’s Keith Miller.” He stopped and his stern gaze swept the room. “As I sat here and listened to you introduce yourselves, I realized that never in my life have I been surrounded by so many weirdos… misfits… mavericks… renegades… rebels and rule breakers.” The room went silent as a tomb. “It’s almost as if the wizard sent out the mating call of the albino monkey and this is the strange group that answered that call.” Then he shouted with happy joy, “And I just can’t tell you what a privilege it is to be counted here among you!” The room exploded with laughter and applause.
When I saw how masterfully he had handled the room without telling us anything about himself, I wondered, “Could this be that Keith Miller?”
During the first break, I slipped into my library and pulled out a hardback, The Taste of New Wine, a monumental book that sold more than 4 million copies when it was released in 1965. I handed it to Keith privately and said, “Could I convince you to sign that?”
His eyes fell and he frowned a little. He had hoped he would not be discovered.
I chose not to inquire about the sequence of events that led Keith to seek the shadows of oblivion. That’s one of the markers of our tribe; we don’t hold you accountable for your past. We know you only by the future you’re trying to create. Keith’s enthusiastic involvement in the academy for the next 10 years made it clear he had found a home. He passed away in 2012 at the age of 84.
God, I miss him.
Each of us needs to know we belong.
If you believe traditional wisdom is often more tradition than wisdom…
If you can happily embrace a friend whose religious and political views differ wildly from your own…
If you want to make a difference…
If you want your future to be brighter than your past…
If you have the courage to let your choices dictate your actions…
There’s a strong possibility that you might be part of The Albino Monkey Tribe of the late Keith Miller.
I never again taught that class. Free the Beagle was a one-time thing, although a number of people who were there that day have since told me it was their favorite class of all time.
Should we do it again? You can vote Yes by sending an email to Daniel@WizardAcademy.org. To vote No, do nothing. If enough of you want to do it, perhaps he’ll add it to the Wizard Academy schedule for 2015.
This isn’t what I planned to write about today, but the memory of Keith swept me away.
I know you will forgive me.
Because that’s what albino monkeys do.
Roy H. Williams
Brandable Chunks aren’t slogans. They’re carefully created, highly memorable “chunks” of your core marketing message and they’re absolutely essential to the synchronization of your mass media with your online marketing and your face-to-face and voice-to-voice customer communications. Disaster waits quietly in the shadows for any company that isn’t on top of their brandable chunks.
With everyone focused on e-commerce and “optimizing the online customer experience,” many businesses have lost the art of connecting with customers face-to-face. Pamela Herrmann coaches face-to-face businesses on how to win customer loyalty in the first 10 seconds after the customer’s arrival. Today, Pamela Herrmann gives MondayMorningRadio listeners a preview of the remarks she’ll make this April when she headlines The National Main Street Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.
MondayMorningRadio.com, of course. Where else?