Whether it is at work, out to dinner, or at home, the economy is a very hot topic of conversation. Most people, in an effort to show how smart they are, will talk about how we are in a recession or about how “things” are not as good as they once were. But what does this mean? What is the economy? I was pondering these questions yesterday as I was grabbing a slice of pizza near the highline in the West Village.
While enjoying my pizza, I found myself thinking about one of the workers at the pizzeria. I imagined where she lived, her daily commute, her daily routine, what she had to do to open the restaurant and prepare the food and all the work she had done that day just to be able to serve me a hot delicious slice of pizza. I then imagined her later that day seeing an advertisement that I helped create and after seeing that ad somehow benefitting from all the work that I contributed to placing the advertisement. For a brief moment in the pizzeria – under the setting sun on the first day of spring – it seemed so clear to me. She was working to benefit me – and I was working to benefit her. We had a perfect, mutually beneficial relationship – it was beautiful.
What irks me about discussions of “the economy” is everyone refers to it as if it were a separate entity. “The economy is good”, “the economy is bad”, the economy is bullish or bearish or whatever – everyone talks about it as if it had a mind of its own.
The truth is there is no economy – there is only us and the work we are contributing to serve each other’s needs. If we want the economy to get better what we really need to is work for each other, work with each other’s needs in mind, and make sure everyone is contributing.