Kindness over Everything

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While social media has achieved an amazing feat of connecting us all, it has done at the expense of our kindness. You see, social media enables us to express ourselves freely with a delusion that our opinion actually matters. The kinds of antics that are common on Facebook and Twitter these days have historically been the game of town drunks and crazies that yelled at people that passed by. The guy that stood on the street corner with a megaphone and a sign yelling at strangers – he got Twitter and followers now. Not only is that insanity tolerated (instead of briskly distanced from), it’s actually rewarded.

You get a higher rank on social media by offering your opinion – about food, about politics, about sex, and increasingly about things you have no clue about. The kinds of statements that would get you punched in the face on the street are rewarded with likes, followers, emojis. Suddenly we’re not just able to share freely, with no consequences, we even have platforms and mediums to support our right to have an opinion and scream it at complete strangers. And lord have mercy on your poor soul if you disagree. We don’t see each other as human beings anymore – we see walking labels, stereotypes, threats – and while that may always have been true to a certain extent we’ve never had an entire army behind us to reinforce our shitty attitude towards one another.

It has made us lose faith in each other as friendly people that are just trying to enjoy life.

It’s become a game – of winner take all, where winning is not just everything, or the only thing – far too many people are actively celebrating the defeat of someone we don’t like. Suddenly it’s not just about the pursuit of happiness, it’s also about the pursuit of misery of those who dare disagree.

Watching and observing humanity pass by on Facebook has been a fascination of mine. This coronavirus panic is shining the light on the way we cope – through disbelief, rage, disappointment, satire, jokes, fear, and anger.

We all want to help.

When pressed, we want to help our fellow man. Even the quiet shuntins and loners, who under ordinary circumstances had little more than a coffee / cat / Netflix obsession, are on Facebook several times a day trying to share tips and hints for making it through a self-quarantine.  

Ok, it’s about to get cringeworthy and for that I apologize in advance.

I am typing this blog post at 35,000 feet in the air, aboard a practically empty Delta 2323 flight to Los Angeles.

On a ticket I booked about 10 hours ago.

Fully aware that when I return to Orlando I will not see my friends, my team, or my family for two weeks.

Why? Well, I had to explain this insanity to my son Timmy last night, as he was laying on the floor crying freaking out about . And now I’m going to share it with you.

Son, not everyone out there is as fortunate as we are. I build software that helps people manage small businesses. And those folks are about to go through the kind of pain and suffering that you can’t even imagine. These aren’t just folks who work for a company and will just easily hop to the next job at the earliest opportunity. These are folks that take out loans they have to repay, who believe they can do something better than anyone else. And they make things happen, at their own cost, all the time. Sometimes it’s financial, sometimes it’s time to train someone, sometimes it’s to give someone an opportunity, sometimes it’s to provide something special or unique to their community. In a sense son, these are people that look to serve.

I am going to Los Angeles tomorrow because I am going to give away something we’ve built for ExchangeDefender, something that has made all the difference in building our business and afforded everything you see around you. It’s going to take some creativity, some repurposing, and some lifting to make it happen. Yes, it’s not an ideal time to go. Yes, I probably could force/pay someone else to go.

But people are hurting right now son. They need to be able to go home and take care of their families and stay safe – but they need to continue working too. Because nobody is coming to their door with a handout. I’m in a good shape, I will be careful, but…

But son, I have the ways and means to help people right now. And yes, I could just go hide in the master suite and spend the next two weeks in the hot tub trading stocks and watching cartoons. But I would not be able to look at myself in the mirror if I did that. I would not be able to go into all the small businesses that you enjoy because if they are out for weeks or months they won’t get back on their feet. And son, they can’t afford to work the same level that Fortune 500 companies can. Jerry (his guitar teacher) is not making money if you aren’t next to him. Our economy is dependent on the movement of money and spending (Yes, I preach economics at home nonstop) and when Jerry doesn’t get your money he can’t go spend it on food. And then the food store doesn’t need as many employees or as many items. And then the people that make the food, that deliver the food, that test the food, etc don’t have money to spend. Everything that we enjoy, comes to a halt. (and now we’re both crying)

I have the means to help son and I’m going to. I’ll be fine. Or I won’t, I could crash my Corvette on the way to the airport and die. You don’t live your life expecting the worst case scenario, life is too precious and you have to live it.

And you have a purpose.

….

My team at ExchangeDefender has built Wrkoo (formerly Shockey Monkey) as our business management platform. We do literally everything in it from managing our staff, punching the clock, keeping track of spending, collecting $ from clients, provisioning services, storing passwords, working on projects, solving problems.

We’ve spend millions of dollars building it over the decade, and yes, we offer it as a successful commercial product at https://www.wrkoo.com. #ABP

You could have paid for it as a monthly subscription until yesterday.

But right now, we’re in this together. Right now, it’s our moral responsibility to help as many companies like ours survive a sudden downturn in activity. We can help people go home and still keep track of all their employees, vendors, and clients. And Wrkoo is yours just for asking. It will stay free for months, until we get out of this uncertain time and things get back to normal. No bait and switch, you will not be prompted for a credit card.

As a matter of fact, my team has worked relentlessly through the weekend to rewrite the onboarding process and make it something that will deliver immediate results in about 3 minutes after landing on the splash page.

We’ll be making a big deal about it over at https://www.exchangedefender.com/blog in a few hours when the team has dumbed the thing down to the level than anyone can do it without looking at documentation. We’ll also be running ads on Facebook – cause I get it – if you’ve suddenly got to adjust your operations and minimize travel, if you can’t get all your folks to the office, or if you’re just being smart and prudent and NOT even attempting to do so because you live in a major metropolitan area. I’ve got your back. We’ve got to help each other out. This is no time to shame people for not having anything, and it’s definitely not the time to take advantage of people and gauge the small guys that are just trying to survive.

We got you. Till at least June, possibly longer. There is no tip jar, no contract, no commitment, you don’t need to name the kids you accidentally make during the quarantine Vladimir (for the love of god don’t do that under any other circumstances either), you don’t need a computer science degree to set it up. If you can figure out Facebook, you can figure out this…. Start here:

https://www.wrkoo.com/signup

And I might be biased but it’s just friggin beautiful.

It powers my dream. I hope it can do the same for you. Or, at the very least, get you through this mess while keeping you sane and productive.

Be safe. Be kind. #BeBest