maxcowan

Now, this is a challenge for the sensible …

In Mish-Mash of Wisdoms, Uncategorized on July 10, 2011 at 4:45 pm

JIm Morrision, on The Doors’ The Soft Parade, a voice growing in sarcasm & ridicule, repeating the thought that you can “petition the lord with prayer” finally stops dead, silence … and then a full blooded scream of rage …

“You CANNOT petition the Lord with prayer!!!”  

Jim Morrison

The truth of Morrison’s rage cannot be tested by me or probably by you.

And there are millions upon millions, perhaps billions, who pray daily. Many believe they are praying to a “lord” of some description. And many have an adamant belief that their prayer is heard – even when their petition is (seemingly) ignored.

Is there any right and wrong in how you perceive prayer? Do we cower to Jim’s rant or revere the soft supplications of the many?

God knows! (he he he)

What follows may be disappointing to you, fair reader. If you have read this far you may be looking for some irreverence or perhaps a deep insight, revelations of the very core of meaning in life. No! (But if you want that can I recommend you go to Leonard Cohen’s Live in London, put on Tower of Song and listen right through to the very end … Dah Doo Dum …)

Leonard Cohen

No, my thinking about Jim’s rant was triggered by something far more pragmatic and profane.

The pragmatic – the concept of customer loyalty. Well, … any type of loyalty.

The profane – the anger that comes from the disintegration of such a noble concept as loyalty.

You see, in thinking about loyalty, I felt like screaming in Morrison-like anger, sarcasm, & ridicule:

You CANNOT petition loyalty by demand!!!

You CANNOT earn loyalty with payment!!!

You CANNOT be gifted loyalty when you offer reward!!!

With all three you may get behaviours that may look like loyalty, feel like loyalty … but, in most cases, are not loyalty. They are obedience, compliance, or a simple transaction

That feeling of frustration, that sense of something noble and valuable disintegrating behind the rattle of an demand, or the tinkle of a coin … that was how I got to thinking of Morrison’s scream. To me, Morrison is saying much the same thing – the act of praying is far too sacred and precious to be diminished by the act of petitioning.

But, this thought about loyalty also led me to a prayer. A prayer seemingly “petitioning the Lord” but really requiring individual growth, integrity, and responsibility. A prayer that contains (IMO) immense wisdom, and is spoken by millions around the world every night.

I was reminded of it recently when it was listed as the favourite quotation in the Facebook profile of a good mate of mine.

 God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,

The courage to change the things I can,

And the wisdom to know the difference.

How could this connect with pursuit of customer loyalty … well, I will come back to that another time. Meanwhile, it is at least worth of some thinking.

Who knows, think enough, and standing next to Sun Tzu on podiums of business philosophy, you may see the author of the The Serenity Prayer – whether it be Aquinas, St Francis, Cicero, St Augustine, Reinhold Neibuhr … or whoever.

Niebuhr - Serenity Prayer Author.

Now, wasn’t that a mish-mash.

  1. I do seem to recall that comment by Steve Wynn. I suspect many others have come to a similar conclusion as well.

    Prayer as dialogue, rather than request, seems a healthy view and one not bound by the restrictions, biases, or shackles of any single religious “ism” – excepting, of course, if it is a scotch bob-ism.

  2. In the context of prayer, Jeremiah 33:3. Call to me and I will answer.
    The Bibles view is that God opens the dialogue by encouraging a petition through prayer.

    Somewhere else it says something about “when you know the value of prayer, you will pray as you ought”

    In the context of loyalty, I guess a similar premise exists.

    When you know the value of loyalty, you will be as loyal as you ought.

    In my view, loyalty is relationship thing. The value exists in the strength of the relationship. How that is defined by each individual is …well an individual.

    In a business sense, Max is right. You can’t buy it, You can buy visitation and spend through some kind of reward, but then you run the risk of entering “Reward Wars”.

    I think it was Steve Wynne (Max will correct me) who said of Loyalty Programs for Vegas Casino’s that they were also disloyalty programs. Your loyal customers are only loyal until a better better loyalty program comes along.

    My ONE BOB’s worth.

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