Hello, wonderful you!
A couple of weeks ago, our humble studio in Shahpur Jat was sprawling with security personnel. A bunch of very solemn looking men inspected our office and the near vicinity for potential bomb threats and other security nuisances, tried to investigate our building safety codes (that were non-existent), and tried to suss out fire exits in case of an emergency (also, non-existent). A cavalcade of bulletproof cars cleared out traffic near our area, we tried to clear up our office, and then we stood at our building entrance in eager anticipation.
That Saturday afternoon, through a series of serendipitous events that involved the team from the Canadian company Shopify (the e-commerce platform that hosts our website) and the good folk at the Canadian Embassy - we found ourselves preparing for a visit from Canada's Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development - The Honourable Mary Ng.
The minister was visiting our country to further foster Canadian-Indian bilateral ties; and was engaging with Indian trade and commerce ministers as well as meeting local entrepreneurs, to engender a deeper understanding of how business was conducted in India.
The visit to our office lasted 45 minutes. While both of us were nervous wrecks, trying to stutter intelligible answers to her incisive questions, the minister herself was incredibly impressive: razor-sharp, witty, energetic, high-spirited, perceptive, curious and wise. As a passionate advocate of female entrepreneurship in Canada, she had a refreshing take on how female-led businesses should grow; through compassion and sustainability without compromising quality and integrity; and how funds need to adapt to these values to help such businesses scale.
It was wonderfully validating to have her words echoed in our vision for The Wishing Chair; and the minister’s description of how women-run businesses are steered in Canada led us to the term (that we have grudgingly borrowed from the crypto-community): "WAGMI". Wagmi stands for "We're all gonna make it."
We love the wagmi spirit because it stands in marked contrast to much of what we're used to in a more aggressive, dog-eat-dog, traditional, alpha-led business mindset.
The wagmi spirit:
- positive-sum, (not a zero-sum game where for me to win, you need to lose.) ● emphasizes community, not competition
- Is friendly and collaborative, not combative and adversarial
- Is optimistic, not pessimistic
- Brings everyone up along the vertically integrated chain.
The economist Tyler Cowen once wrote about how one of the greatest things you can do is raise someone's aspirations: "At critical moments in time, you can raise the aspirations of other people significantly, simply by suggesting they do something better or more ambitious than what they might have in mind. It costs you relatively little to do this, but the benefit to them, and to the broader world, may be enormous."
So, thank you honourable Mary Ng, for embodying the wagmi spirit!
We aren't here on this miraculous planet very long. We are all sharing our lives together. It's all too short and too beautiful to not lift each other up.
And now to our favourite links of the week:
To read: “Money can’t buy happiness, but the absence of money can cause unhappiness. Money buys freedom: intellectual freedom, freedom to choose who you vote for, to choose what you want to do professionally. But having what I call “f*ck you” money requires a huge amount of discipline. The minute you go a penny over, then you lose your freedom again. If money is the cause of your worry, then you have to restructure your life.” Read F*ck You Money to restructure your mindset on money.
“If life is short, we should expect its shortness to take us by surprise. And that is just what tends to happen. You take things for granted, and then they're gone. You think you can always write that book, or climb that mountain, or whatever, and then you realize the window has closed. The saddest windows close when other people die. Their lives are short too. After my mother died, I wished I'd spent more time with her. I lived as if she'd always be there. And in her typical quiet way she encouraged that illusion. But an illusion it was. I think a lot of people make the same mistake I did. “ Paul Graham, drops his inimitable wisdom on life’s finity.
To joy scroll: Asif Hoque was born in Rome to Bangladeshi parents; his paintings are fantastical, energetic creations that draw on both South Asian and Italian traditions. Check out this artsy article which details his dazzling works and scroll through his surreal combinations of winged cherubs paired with brown bodies.
To cook: This is best described as "an obstacle course of deliciousness". For just a moment, forget about suggested nutritional intake and indulge your inner child with this decadent ice cream cake! While time-consuming, the pay-off is most certainly worth it, especially if you snack your way through the assembly process. Now that Holi is past us, this is the most fun way to welcome in summer!
“Good morning, Earth." That is how Colonel Chris Hadfield—writing on Twitter—woke up the world every day while living aboard the International Space Station for over five months. Since blasting off from Kazakhstan in December 2012, Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into the collective consciousness. “We just need to see the world as one place, the fact that we're all in this together, and that we are in the position to actually understand it and, and appreciate it, and therefore make different decisions about it.”
To try: If you think small talk is tedious, then try this! 100 questions to spark stories, draw out secrets, break the ice and bust out a few Lol, and hopefully, help you to feel more deeply connected to the people you love. Some of our favourites from the list:
- What’s in your fridge, right this moment?
- If you were to die three hours from now, what would you regret most?
- What’s one thing you’re deeply proud of — but would never put on your résumé?
- What’s something you’ve tried, that you’ll never, ever try again?
- What’s the worst piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
- What’s your recipe for recuperating from extreme heartbreak?
To ponder: Eastern Vs Western Views of Happiness
“The Western intellectual tradition suggests that in order to be happy, what we need to do most of all is to go out and subdue the world; secure resources, found businesses, run governments, gain fame and conquer nations.
By contrast, the Eastern tradition has told us something very different. In both its Buddhist and Hindu strands, it has insisted that contentment requires us to learn to conquer not the world but the instrument through which we view this world, namely our minds.”
To play: Wordle for movie buffs; try to guess the movie from six successive screen captures. Fun as long as you can stand the 15 minute wait for the next puzzle.
To quote: Legendary musician Bob Marley on loving a woman:
“You may not be her first, her last, or her only. She loved before she may love again. But if she loves you now, what else matters? She's not perfect and you aren't either, and the two of you may never be perfect together but if she can make you laugh, cause you to think twice, and admit to being human and making mistakes, hold onto her and give her the most you can. She may not be thinking about you every second of the day, but she will give you a part of her that she knows you can break : her heart. So don't hurt her, don't change her, don't analyze and don't expect more than she can give. Smile when she makes you happy, let her know when she makes you mad, and miss her when she's not there.”
By June Jordan - 1936-2002
they are things that I do
in the dark
reaching for you
whoever you are
are you ready?
they are stones in the water
These skeletal lines
they are desperate arms for my longing and love.
I am a stranger
learning to worship the strangers
whoever you are
whoever I may become.
Viv and Ami
P.S. If you are just joining us you can explore all the previous editions here.
P.S.S. We were asked last week that if we had to choose only one product to recommmend from our store what would it be - it would be definitely be our scented ceramic jar candles!