Meg Ryan, in the movie "You’ve Got Mail," finds herself hoping for a miracle. She’s in the wrong checkout line, the cash-only line, and she has no cash. And the clerk isn’t budging.
The grumpy guy behind her says, “You have no cash?” and turns to the folks behind him and says, “She has no cash.” The lady behind him throws up her hands, saying, “She has no cash,” and the lady behind her fumes, “Oh get in another line, lady.”
Just then Tom Hanks walks up and cheerfully exclaims, “Hello,” right in her ear. His character, Joe, goes on to woo everyone in that line with his charm and talk of holidays. He connected with them as people first, then asks for the clerk to make an exception. Everyone is calmed and happy, and the clerk ends up accepting the credit card from Meg’s character, Kathleen.
Kathleen was trying to persuade them with brute force, but Joe went for the miracle.
“Tommy Boy” is a comedy with one of the best comedic duos on screen, Chris Farley and David Spade. After a long series of failed attempts to make a sale, they walk into a restaurant, The Kluck Bucket, looking for lunch. Farley orders wings, but the kitchen is closed.
Unlike Tom Hanks’ character in “You’ve Got Mail,” Farley’s character, Tommy, is no salesman. He is terrible, actually.
But in desperation and genuine honesty, he goes on to connect with the waitress and tell her his sad story of sucking as a salesman, a very dynamic and entertaining story. Wouldn’t you know it: she fires up the fryer. David Spade is incredulous: it was a miracle.
But that was a turning point for old Tommy Boy, because he realized that he could just be himself.
There is something magical about human connection that changes the world for good.
Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
When we interact with people, we feel a sense of meaning and joy, of camaraderie and destiny, and we are encouraged to become the best versions of ourselves.
Einstein goes on to say, “One knows from daily life that one exists for other people; first of all for those upon whose smiles and well-being our own happiness is wholly dependent, and then for the many, unknown to us, to whose destinies we are bound by the ties of sympathy. ... Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
There is a miracle that happens in our daily life. We are completely connected to each other, to family and friends, but also to our community.
This second category is the category of business, commerce, work.
The life of business is the practical force that shapes us humans into kind people. If there was no need for business, there would be no need to smile at your neighbor. But when there is business, there is the opportunity for good, a magical power toward creating a better community.
Before Tommy Boy had his awakening at the Kluck Bucket, he saw business as a job, but afterward, he saw it as life-giving.
This is business. It’s not miraculous, but it could be.
Adam Setser is a financial advisor with Kerrigan Capital and Risk Management, 3543 N. Crossing Circle, Valdosta.
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