Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

4 December 2008

I'd like you to meet my friend (RED) because...

... new strategies are needed to solve big problems and we're not thinking big enough yet.

If you haven't met Red yet... meet Red.

Here's how it happened.
Bill Gates tells the story in a Time magazine article about "Creative Capitalism":

"a few years ago I was sitting in a bar with Bono, and frankly, I thought he was a little nuts. It was late, we'd had a few drinks, and Bono was all fired up over a scheme to get companies to help tackle global poverty and disease. He kept dialing the private numbers of top executives and thrusting his cell phone at me to hear their sleepy yet enthusiastic replies."

As a result, today I bought an Espresso Truffle from Starbucks and a nickel went towards AIDS initiatives in Africa. Just a nickel? Why not give the whole 5 bucks away Mr. "Generous-on all occasions hypocrite consumerism sucker yuppie boy"?

Because I wanted a coffee and a place to read my book for an hour.

AND... because strong, generous businesses are a missing component in our global puzzle. Why? Because they have the money to change my city's future and my world's health through what they do with their money (since they have MUCH of it). The literal fate of millions depends on what they do with their money.

But companies are greedy right? The rich are getting richer. Yep.
So that money needs to be released.

American Express...

... have all created RED products. They give away portions of their profit on the sale of red shoes, shirts, itunes cards, laptops, greeting cards...

Hold on!
Don't they know there are starving children????
Those greedy b*#*#*ds!

Check out these verses in 2Cor: 9

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.

I want companies to make money so that they will have seed to give to sowers... like ME like YOU... and in doing so... they will prosper. I want them to know that I'll buy their things when they are generous and give. I want them to pay people a generous salary so WE can be personally generous on all occasions. THIS is a fully working, healthy, economic strategy. THIS is a wonderful, doable system of prosperity. In economics... do you know what happens when people stop investing in each other (spending)? Depressions.

The only enemy of this strategy is greed (played out as selfishness) and fear (played out as close-handedness). It can choke out the whole thing like a weed. Unfortunately, our economy (as I wrote about a while ago) is currently based on a cycle of greed and fear. So we'll need to change that... won't we.

Let's sow where we want to go!

As we intentionally sow/spend with companies that are intentionally generous... they will be motivated to continue because they'll see profit AND benefit. I went to Starbucks today looking for Red gifts to give for Christmas. I only found Red Christmas drinks. This tells me that this is a test.

Will being generous work economically?
Can they survive... AND give?
Sound familiar?

I'm faced with this scenario every time an offering is taken.
Giving is always the right answer.

I plan on telling companies that are Big Thinking, generous and strategic, that they should press on and be generous on every occasion. Think about the chain reaction that could happen if companies were exceedingly generous? And all we need to do it make smart choices.


Anonymous said...

I have a RED shirt I got from the Gap when this campaign first started like a year or two ago. It says "Inspi(red)" and I LOVE IT!

I even bought some more and gave them away. I was so happy to see Starbucks had joined the club.


Paul said...

Reading your blog at a Starbucks in Toronto, drinking a ( RED ) coffee.


Dave Carrol said...

It's interesting... my sister (who was a nurse in Africa wrote this about it on my facebook wall)

"Hello Brother...
What an absolutely clever train of thought. I like it.

Just last night, I was thinking "self...how are we going to make sense of this whole Red thing in our head?"...because I tend to ere on the "don't those ba#%$*ds know that there are children starving and dying of malaria and we can give Rick Mercer 10$ and buy them a ... Read Mosquito net...and bam! problem solved" side of thinking....and, I find living a righteous life in middle class North America so much more challenging than living an honorable life in West Africa.

And at the very same time, I want to embrace every opportunity our society places before us to give my money to people who need it...

Tricky little pickle we are left in.

But, if the answer is to buy more Starbucks this Christmas...then sign me up!"

It might seem like a little but I think it can accomplish lots

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