Seniors: First and Only Conglomerate of Everything

May 31st, 2011 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

With all the buyouts, leverages, bids, business consolidations going on, do you suppose that one day there could be, as an example, The First and Only Bank of America? Might there be the First and Only Fast Food Outlet everywhere? Could there be the First and Only Merchandise Store for any item you desired? Or, the First and Only Medical Center in Everytown? How about the First and Only Church, Mosque, Synagogue or Temple? What about the First and Only Gas Station? No more competition, no more different rules, methods to remember. Just one way to do everything. Just one brand to meet every need. No more multiple flavors, No more having to shop and compare.

Eventually, with all the mergers couldn’t this nightmarish scenario be a possibility? Isn’t it possible that we could all march to the same tune? Not because of socialist government, but because of socialist business. One level playing field. Or, well maybe those at the top and those at the bottom. Two classes, the very rich and powerful and controlling. The other the consumer, the purchaser, the customer, the client, the member, all doing the same thing, supporting the system, the one collective system that has gathered everything into one massive, well coordinated, non duplicative system for everyone. How nice! How neat! How predictable! How boring!

Growing up in the 40′s and 50′s, franchises were a long way from absorbing every community, making them all look and feel the same. Those days were marked by genuinely small businesses, locally owned and operated. Today, there are still small businesses, but they carry huge logos and are backed by gigantic advertising dollars and you can find one or more in every reasonably sized community. The food tastes the same, the clerks behave in unison, the techniques for service and satisfaction all follow the same rules and practices. And, a lot of the money goes elsewhere to another community where the money is banked and the real officers and controllers and comptrollers live and decide and determine.

Locals go on pretending that their town is different, unique, special. But, it isn’t. It is part of the same cookie cutter phenomenon that characterizes every town, village, community, city.

Where does the unusual, the extraordinary, the creative, the different really show up these days? Would we recognize the uniqueness of anything, even if it were out there? Can we help to create an environment where there is a premium for coming up with an exclusive concept, practice, methodology that is truly a one of a kind wonder? With the arguments for all of us to be alike and to agree on every issue, social, political and otherwise, can we for once lay down our dogmatism long enough to encourage the qualities of individuality and difference? If we lose that, we have lost the quality of what makes any civilization worthwhile and wholly credible.

Can we come to that moment when what is valued are not our similarities, but our differences? Can we not celebrate the wonder of a universe that is still creating and evolving and changing? Can we not glory in the identity of every planet and its specialness and every human being with a different fingerprint, color, characteristics? Can we not find ways to celebrate ambiguity over similarity?

Isn’t it worth continuing a magnificently unfolding of life and all its gifts and treasures without having to see it exactly the same?



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