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Genuine, Solidarity, Forgiveness

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Being late on deciding what my “Three Words for 2011” comes as no surprise to myself and to those who have been around me. In the past few months, I have been befuddled on which words to select and how to apply them throughout the year. One day while in a discussion with my gracious boss, Benjamin Levisay, it dawned upon me. We had recently given a presentation on using social media in our industry and all three words became a critical piece of it and my year.

To explain the first of being “Genuine” involves what I do as a living. I work as an evangelist for XRX, Inc., in that I believe in sharing with others how being a part of our family of magazines, books, and trade shows would benefit local yarn shops and manufacturers. Many folks in the fiber world see me on a quarterly, monthly, weekly, or (in some cases) daily basis. Many yarn shop owners describe my fun-loving self as passionate for XRX because I firmly believe in our products and stand by them. I have been able to point out the benefits of selling our magazines and books versus our competitors, and make no qualms in stating what our patterns offer to their customers who prefer more classic and conservative styles. In other words, what one sees in me is what one will get. I do not play the “fluff” game; in fact I dislike it because I strongly feel that doing so is lying.

As for “Solidarity” the perfect example of that word came while I was chatting with Carl and Eileen from Bijou Basin Ranch. Carl was describing how their company and three other luxury yarn manufacturers teamed up to call themselves “Premier Yarns” in order to create more of a non-compete atmosphere. What they did was set up a package of the four companies that could be sold in a 2-foot by 2-foot area in any local yarn shop. All the four yarns were equitably priced in a range for the buyers and the LYS owners. By doing so the Premier Yarns team showed how they could be friendly to each other as competitors. The team viewed themselves as a boutique group of higher-end fibers, and rightly so. I have always viewed everyone in my industry as fellow players who want to share their love of our craft with others. My heart still hopes for those views, even if others view it as just a way to make money.

The last word, “Forgiveness” is a powerful one. The enlightening feeling that one gets when finding the strength to forgive those who hurt and harm you is lifting. As difficult it may be to forgive enemies, it seems harder to forgive friends because they should have not done so in the first place. Discovering a person saying harmful and nasty words while thinking all is well within a friendship is tough. Having the guts to forgive that same person is tougher. My goal on forgiveness will be to make a prayer hat or scarf for each person I forgive. Each stitch in the garment will mean “I forgive you, no matter what.” I wonder if anybunny is willing to join me on this challenge? =:8

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