Simplicity Works: We Can Learn from Kids
I asked my cousin to give me the best English word for 'Souk Bederete'. She gave me a couple with some doubt in her voice; Kiosk? Hot dog stand?? Then the good ole Google delivered - 'mobile markets' or portable wooden suitcases carried by children in the streets, selling anything from phone cards to candies. Right on! I had the recent souk bederetes in America in mind - the Souk Bederetes of 'Unity'!
As kids, we used to enjoy heading to the souk bederetes competing for our business/money. The favorites were the ones who carried bubble gums, and if they were good with giving out ‘mirqat’ (freebies), all our classmates were told who to go to, by the ‘mirqat recipients’. Word of mouth traveled fast. I believe our deleyti fethi movements can learn a lot from these basics . Let's give simplicity a try!
Let us compare the Souk Bederete of bubble gums with that of Unity , as well as their buyers. Blowing bubbles was fun, not to mention the competitive spirit of outdoing the others' bubbles. The clever kids blew comparatively smaller bubbles and avoided gums sticking to their face and hair. Modesty was the key. Most of our Unity Souks' shoppers have the competitive spirit (less the fun) of outnumbering the other Unity souks' shoppers. A few who enjoy numbers/crowds, may be modest about it and try to concentrate on what they are chewing (in this case, the issue on hand - namely, method proposed to remove higdef), while some others' spirit of competitiveness is so high (to the point that they get filled with negative energy) that they lose focus......bubbles pop, and their face and hair get covered with the sticky gum (the sticky material that came from their mouth has no mercy for the tongue that blew it).
The sweets/gum souk bederetes (SB) tried to be nice to the kids, and pull out to display what may be buried underneath, to give the kids more choice and keep them coming back. The Unity SB , on the other hand, bury what should be on display, and display what is attractive only. Imagine it was one of the hard candies from the sweets SB sold to the kids, hidden underneath the favorite or popular candy/gum. Any broken tooth would have had them out of business. Come to Unity SB, a disappointed buyer who choked on their hidden issue fed to him inside real issue, instead of being offered an apology or a promise to correct it, gets the lash from another 'buyer' who has not YET experienced the same or the seller himself who pretends not to know anything about it.
Then consider the bubble gum flavor, color, and bubble gum tattoo. Children are simple. They sometimes like what their friends like: just because they love their friends. Mostly, they pick the flavor, color and tattoo they like. No more, no less. Of course, children are always curious and try new flavors or brands. But they do not abandon their old favorite brand. To start with, new ones are more expensive to buy. Not only that, if their old favorite is as soft and chew-able as the new one, and has the bubble which makes it different from the regular gum (which is not wanted), they would rather have their pocket money last longer for they have not started making their own money/living yet. Our Unity Souk Bederetes and buyers, to the contrary, are full of empty pride. Many of the buyers do not concentrate on what they want, but on which flavor makes them look 'hip'. The flavor and tattoo with 'veterans', or 'youth' or 'inside connection' or 'no wudib or mahber', or 'the newest organization' whatever is hip this season. Looking hip is fine, but when there is no tried means of generating income for this Unity Souk Bederetes sprouting everywhere (am praying this is a sign that the end of higdef is closer than ever), and they are relying on the buyers whose financial status is not ideal (the number of families they have to support back home is just one factor), how do we sensibly throw away the older brands on which money and resources have been spent already? Do we even have the luxury of time to start new ones from scratch every time one failed to deliver? The older brands of unity may have lost their sweetness but longer experience of chewing may have taught them exactly how long they have to chew for the bubble gum to lose the right amount of sugar crystals and flavor: just enough to blow a bubble but not make it stiff and brittle again.
The intentions of some of these Unity Souk Bederete may be sincere, but the speed at which they are sprouting is a matter for concern. Not only that, most of them are already into glamorizing their brands while tarnishing others'. We need our wise people to advise them to stop tarnishing the older brands for they may need their help with removing the gums from their face and hair when these glamorized new bubbles suddenly pop at the extraordinary speed they were chewed and blown at. Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, that sticky material definitely has no mercy for the tongue that blew it. Even children know that. Lets learn from kids and pick only the gum that we want. If many buyers are happy, (mirqat/freebies - such as working with the older brands of unity which money and resources have been spent on already, and have the benefit of lessons learned from mistakes made - help a lot), word travels fast. Kids went to the Souk Bederete that carried the bubble gums they wanted ...... not to the one that talked about bubble gums or about what others are chewing. Simplicity works!