My husband loves woodworking. I’m begging him to build a little free library for our neighborhood’s community park.
Why? Because the symbol of a little free library would reflect our values, as a family and as a community. We live in a wonderful neighborhood full of thoughtful, curious people. They’re active in local causes and are advocates for education. A dozen or so have spent many weekends over the last couple of years bringing the greenspace of the community park back from the destructive brink of invasive plants. They’ve even created a creekside path for walkers to enjoy. It’s a beautiful, contemplative space, right outside my front door!
I’d love to see the books that pop up and get exchanged. Can you imagine someone discovering Richard Rohr or Zora Neale Hurston for the first time, just because someone donated a book, and we had made a space for someone else to receive it with surprise and delight?
Our values roar for more attention. Not just in our hobbies or our homes, but in our businesses, too. When I talk to people about marketing the first time, they are often so discouraged and say that they hate marketing. That almost always signals that the real issue is that they hate compromising their values for what they believe marketing means.
What if marketing started from your values? What if it started from that place of deep service and love for the people that you want to serve? What if it started with the commitment to never compromise your values?
What if we permanently release the idea that marketing is a vehicle for tricking and taking? What if it were simply an enthusiastic educational exchange, infused with grace?
What if marketing is as simple as making a space to let ideas flow into the community, like a little free library?
image credit: michael r perry