context defines perspective
product innovation doesn't equal success

I'm inspired - Purim in a Recession

Purim There is a running joke in the Orthodox Jewish Community in NY.  It goes something like this:

Guy #1: So are you in Real Estate, Medical, Diamonds, Finance or Mortgages?
Guy #2: None.  I'm a lawyer representing all of them.

Sure, marketing doesn't fall into the traditional career trajectory.  But with Wall Street and the mortgage industries in the tank, real estate and luxury goods aren't exactly booming.

One would think that dire financial times would sour the festivities of the holiday of Purim, a holiday of giving and community celebration.  But my expectations were shattered and I am proud to say that I have been proven wrong.

My 15 year old nephew went around with a group of friends singing and dancing in homes across the community, kind of like Jewish caroling for charity.  In one day he raised nearly FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS.

While I can assure you that I was not writing massive checks today, I can honestly say that I did not see a single person turned away empty handed.  With less money to spent on frivolous amenities like outlandish costumes, I saw an entire community pull together to celebrate with one another.  Whereas in years past, teenagers were often partying all across the neighborhood, this year they brought their energy to the streets, raising massive sums for charity.

Purim is a holiday that challenges us to ignore our external differences and "costumes", focusing instead on what is on the inside, what really matters.

Today I learned that in the face of difficulty, there are two directions one can take.  One can "get by" or one can "pull together".  Today I learned a valuable lesson around what it means to be a community.

Happy Purim!