I Beg to Differ: Supplication and the Exchange Process

Talking Bag

Most marketers are taught that human need satisfaction can come in four forms:

1. Self-production – You can make something. Need a chair? Build yourself a chair.

2. Coercion – Why make it when you can take it?! Need a chair? Steal you neighbors chair.

3. Supplication – “Hey buddy, can you spare a chair?” Need a chair? Sit on the ground and beg for one.

4. The exchange process – You are awesome, so awesome you have extra awesome. Go exchange some of your awesome for a chair from someone who has a chair but would rather have your awesome.

I would argue that the third and fourth are the same. And this giant talking bag, I feel, proves it.

Talking Bag

After years of working with charities – forming them, directing them, begging for them – I realized that supplication and the exchange process are one and the same.

The exchange process is the preferred method in any free market society. While society looks at farmers, craftsmen, and artists with a quaint folksy eye – and although those fields require some of the most skilled, educated, intellectual, and creative to be successful – it is a small percentage of the society that idolize these noble fields much less groom their legacy for such a life.

Thieves are, well, thieves. We put those people in jail.

However, on the other side of the human need satisfaction gap we see dreams of corner offices and private jets and golden parachutes all earned with the help of top tier colleges, networking, and the common core. If you look past that you see the uber elite. Those we aspire to be. Those with so much that they have no other option but to become philanthropists.

These last two our free market society embraces wholeheartedly. They are the free market super heroes!

Look in the sky! It’s Captain of Industry and Philanthropy Man!!

In order for the exchange process to occur there are five conditions that must be met:

1. There must be two or more parties.

2. Each of the parties must be able to communicate and deliver with each other.

3. Each must have something of value that the other wants.

4. Each must be free to decide whether or not to engage.

5. Each part should be desirable to deal with – doesn’t mean you have to like them, just trust them enough to benefit from an exchange with them.

People will say that the difference between charity and the exchange process is that in supplication there is no #3 – that the charity or beggar doesn’t have anything of value to exchange. But doesn’t it though?

Ask yourself why you, why anyone, would give to a beggar. Why is doing so “doing the right thing“?

It is because you receive in return what you were taught the value of giving is. Helping society, satisfying a religious requirement, not feeling sad when you see that Sarah McLachlan wonky pet commercial, or just getting a talking bag to say nice things about you no matter how embellishing it is.