My co-founder and life partner Graeme Sutherland and I were just talking, here on a rare weekend away in Hoxton / London, about the “unique value proposition” or “unfair advantage” of Metta Eggs / Share Gratitude that can’t be copied. From a “lean canvas”, business planning point of view.
Well, we can’t be copied, and it comes from us. From our stories, from the stories of all the people who have joined us along the way. It’s about why communicating how we feel really matters. About why “Spreading the Love” has always mattered to us. About why telling Mum and Dad that I loved them, in my own way, and hearing that from them before they died, made all the difference in the world. Not just to me, but to my daughter, and no doubt to the rest of our lives. It was always real, never schmaltzy.
A core part of what we are working on understanding here is why we *all* find this stuff hard to say, and hear. That’s a core part of the “intellectual property” being developed, if you like.
If you want to try and dismiss this as sentimental girly claptrap, have another think. Remember “Cheese Lady” who said the idea of Metta Eggs made her feel physically ill because it sounded so Californian (she was selling cheese at the time, which is actually very funny when you think about it. Pot. Kettle. HAhaaaaa.) Well dear lady, you are the one we want to help most. But maybe on your 60th birthday, or death bed, your family would need to say it in a way you can hear, not with pure cheese.
And we can play some part in helping people do just that, no matter where they are in around the world. Geography can be a real bummer (we know, as Australian’s now based permanently in England). What we are developing helps close that gap a bit too.
We all need our own flavour of love / respect / kindness. There’s no one way (or 125, seasonal ways) to do this. Which is why buying pre-written sentiment never quite works, and is a missed opportunity to connect, ripen and deepen. Like good cheese. (English cheddar, Beaufort, name your favourite. Living things. I digress). Which is why the greeting card and gift industries need disrupting.
I’ve got a summer flu today, and I’m feeling stroppy. And what I want to say is, words we simple folk share really matter. Just as much as what gets published by Penguin or Granta. The personal matters. What happens between people matters.
I’m really sick of elite cultural product lording it over humble human expression. I’m sick of how so many children (and adults) get told to shut up and feel like their “voice” (words, painting, art) doesn’t matter.
It does. You can. So do it. Make that cup of tea and add something a little more. Write that bit extra in the card when you feel sheepish. Take a few risks. Because seriously, has anyone ever really not wanted to share love? It’s only fear and self judgement that gets in the way. Do it, your way. Raise the standards a little and we all resonate.
I’m not saying it’s easy. God only knows I want to thump my dear husband sometimes, not tell him how my love for him is like a deep old well, with a fairly leaky bucket. But when I do, and he does, or when a friend writes to me about how our friendship has touched her. Well, that matters. That makes all the stress of modern living worthwhile. And creates ripples that mechanics, teachers, meditators, chaos and social movement theorists can only begin to imagine.
Somehow I don’t think Hallmark Greeting Cards, for example, are going to quite get that. But hope springs eternal and needs to be baked fresh ever day, like love. If they do want to ‘get with’ the essence of all
this, more power to them, and us all.