Emulating what we are familiar with in the physical world is not working for the Internet dimension. Is there another way? I went to the past to find clues.
Respect for People
The concept of ownership was not part of the belief system for early Native American Indians. They did not believe they owned the land. They used trees, rivers and mountains to mark borders and navigate their surrounding instead of fences or walls. Every creature, plant, tree, rock, cloud, sky, planet, stars, human, and the water were considered to be living things they were connected to by the simple fact they all existed in that moment and were sharing in the creation of their mutual experiences.
Their ability to respect life was traced to this belief in connectedness. The foundation that “we are all relatives” enabled them to develop empathy and compassion for each other. What someone desired the most was held sacred because it was subtle, protected from judgement by others and honored as truly unique to everyone.
Several tribes had a custom where a blanket was placed on the ground and everyone placed an item on it to be given away. It was nearly always hand crafted, useful and cherished by the owner. One by one everyone had the opportunity to approach the blanket and choose an item to take. The giver and receiver might discuss how it was made, or why it was chosen. What need did it meet for the new owner? What inspired them to choose it? Was there a hidden desire they didn’t understand until they saw the item?
The way they shared what they made was another concept outsiders didn’t understand. It is easier to provide for people you know well. It is easier to live in harmony within the environment when there is time to study and learn from it. When your belief system is one that says, “We are all relatives”, the only way to survive is to cultivate an understanding about each “relative”.
When America settlers from other countries arrived, they brought with them different beliefs and habits. Accustomed to ownership, they took the land, divided it up, sold it and put up fences. They had no idea how to get along with any other human or living thing. That concept simply did not exist.
From the perspective of marketing and sales and how we conduct business online, none of us is a relative. We are prey. Our needs are not a top priority. The typical purpose of any online business or software application product is how to make it serve you, the owner. Using that as your main business requirement limits your ability to inspire core human-felt responses from your web site visitors. They were lured to your website by an advertisement, or search engine search result or referral link or a cleverly crafted headline. But did you provide them with what they came for?
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