Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Jewelry Shop Economics

 by John Horvat

Quite by accident, I came to frequent a jewelry store that would help me take care of those small problems with watches that can be so vexing. I was tired of department store attendants who could not replace batteries or change watch bands. It seemed that every time I took a watch in to be fixed, it was cheaper to get it replaced.

That’s when I decided to visit a jewelry shop. It was the “little things” that impressed me. I was struck by how they took such care in doing things right. They served the customer with great skill and solicitude. Even their little paper bags with roped handles had a special charm. When my old department store watch broke, they proposed a reasonably priced, American-made watch with their name on it. I knew I could trust them to back up their name. I was even told that they would replace the battery free of charge for as long as I owned the watch.

Over the years, this watch has served me well. My jewelers have never let me down. After all, it is “their” watch; it has their name on it. Whenever there is a problem, I take it to the store and they take care of it, usually without charge. On my part, I spread the word that there is a good jewelry shop in town that treats people well.

Recently, the watch’s battery went dead and I rushed over to get it fixed before traveling out of state. I entered the small store and was greeted by those behind the counter. There is an atmosphere of pride and professionalism that permeates the store. I am impressed by the dazzling displays of beautiful and marvelous jewels. Through a window, one can see the workshop where the master jeweler works with his highly magnified and thick glasses so as to better see the jewels he fixes.

I presented my powerless watch to the lady at the counter who took it back to do the relatively simple job of replacing the battery.

It was then that the “little things” started to happen -- those things that keep me coming back. After a short time, she returned and reported that the small rubber gasket on the back was starting to come apart and that it should be replaced. She enlisted the help of John, the master jeweler, who took it to his workshop and replaced the gasket free of charge. When he returned the watch, he asked me if I wore the watch on the right or left wrist. I replied the left wrist. He then said that if that was the case, the buckle on the leather watchband should be on the other side and promptly changed it. We exchanged pleasantries and I left the store.

During my encounter at the jewelry shop, not much commercial exchange took place. We really didn’t stimulate the economy. In fact, they received no money from me. However, I did give them my trust. And they reciprocated by giving me excellent service. We strengthened a precious relationship that money cannot buy.

My experience with the watch was for me a very practical lesson in the way economy should be. It should be built upon honor and trust. There needs to be that human element by which people show genuine concern and a desire to serve others. There needs to be that passion for doing things well and right. Such things may not appear directly on the bottom line, but they are the foundation for good business.

I cannot help but think that this is what is missing in today’s frenzied markets. Everything is so focused on the big things: sales, massive production and quarterly earnings reports. The human element gets left out. If we are to return to a balanced economic order, more “little things” need to happen.

Read more:

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

“Every Woman Dies but not Every Woman Truly Lives.”

Written by Norman Fulkerson

At the time Brittany Maynard [1] was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer Donielle Wilde, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was given an equally somber diagnosis of stage four breast cancer. The similarities between the two stop there. Donielle was pregnant with her tenth child and was given two unacceptable options that could save her life, abortion or aggressive cancer treatment, [2] which might injure her baby. Whereas Brittany chose to die, “on my own terms,” Donielle and husband Keith rejected both options and chose “God’s terms.” They remained upbeat about what might have been a life-ending, dream-shattering choice not knowing that God clearly had other plans.

The path chosen by the couple was not an easy one, yet they never wavered. Along the way they were blessed with supernatural help. A friend of the Wildes put them in touch with Laura Wohlstadter, a Catholic mother in St. Louis, Missouri. Mrs. Wohlstadter had gone through a problem pregnancy some years ago and prayed to Saint Anthony Galvao. [3] This recently canonized Brazilian saint is a veritable miracle worker for expectant mothers. Mrs. Wohlstadter eventually gave birth to a baby boy that doctors were certain would never be born and named him Anthony in honor of the great saint. Perhaps he might help the Wildes also.

Donielle immediately took the “pill” sent to her by the Wohlstadters: a piece of paper with the Latin phrase, Post partum Virgo, inviolata permansisti, Dei Genitrix, intercede pro nobis (After birth, the Virgin remained intact, Mother of God, intercede on our behalf.) She also began the daily novena prayer to Saint Antonio Galvao.

To read the rest of the story, click below:

“Every Woman Dies but not Every Woman Truly Lives.”

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Monday, December 8, 2014

Why Too Many Choices Can Cause Suffering -

options-396267_640All too often, unlimited choice is heralded as the height of freedom to which all must aspire.

However, it is often forgotten that when overwhelmed by choices, a person also faces the possibility of making bad decisions. This can consequently lead to anxiety, stress and dissatisfaction. Furthermore, the person starts to spend too much time on trivial choices or faces the exhaustion of constantly making choices based on whim and random desires.

That is why it is good that there be rules, moral standards and routines in life. They naturally serve to constrain people and limit their decisions. By relying on these social constraints, life becomes more manageable. People can devote more time to other people. They can learn to face the important decisions which must be addressed and discard those that are trivial and unimportant.

Thus, limitations serve the good purpose of helping a person connect with reality. They keep a person from developing unrealistic expectations. On the other hand, unlimited choice can actually produce genuine suffering, disappointments and failures. It can adversely affect consumption, relationships and jobs. Finally, it has repercussions on all society, since an economy based on the frenetic intemperance of unlimited choices will necessarily throw all society out of balance and lead to great social problems and chaos.

Why Too Many Choices Can Cause Suffering -