My last post posited the possibility of investing in people and relationships as the new gold. In the West, I think we tend to devote ourselves to amassing personal stocks of money and assets, emphasizing our piles of toys, house, stocks, and gold over the care and feeding of our webs and flows of connections, our people, the other gold.
Since I wrote that post, I’ve discovered the story of Martin Macy, in the San Francisco Chronicle. Here’s a guy who worked 41 years as the mail delivery guy in a bigger and bigger law office. Over the years, he became renown for his devotion to his co-workers, the firm, and to kindness as practice, the kind of guy who reports to work at dawn and brings doughnuts for the lawyers pulling all-nighters. When he was canned for efficiency reasons, some of his old friends and colleagues got together and are well on their way to creating an annuity that will support him for the rest of his life.