Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean—
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down—
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
The Summer Day
by Mary Oliver
From The Truro Bear and Other Adventures: Poems and Essays
Surveys asking people to predict behavior are notoriously unreliable, but there’s other data showing the powerful impact of even a modest connection. In my book Brainfluence, I devote a chapter to “schmoozing.” One rather startling finding comes from a study performed by researcher Al Roth.
Roth used The Ultimatum Game, a clever experiment in which one subject must divide a small amount of money, say, $10, between himself and a second subject. If the second subject agrees with the split, both keep their share of the money. If the other person rejects the split, though, nobody gets any money. In its basic form, it shows that humans place a value on fairness. While a totally rational economist would accept even a mere $1 (since that’s better than the alternative of zero for a rejected offer), real people tend to reject splits that heavily favor the first subject. In fact, in the standard game only half of the offers are “fair” – arbitrarily defined as both subjects getting $4-6. About a third of the time, the deal is rejected and nobody gets any money.
Roth tried a variation on the standard game in which he let the subjects chat face to face for ten minutes before playing. This was pure socializing – they didn’t know the rules of the game they’d play, and there was no discussion of strategy. This simple bit of schmoozing had a dramatic impact on the game results. After the face to face chat, 83% of the deals were “fair,” and just 5% – one out of 20 – resulted in rejection and loss of money for both subjects.
For Ian Murray, the 37-year-old co-founder and co-chief executive of apparel brand Vineyard Vines, the preppy look is all about attitude, “exuding a sense of comfort in your environment—you’ve been here before, you know the etiquette and you’re having a good time. You’re having fun but you’re also confident in who you are—when people are preppy they’re not chasing trends.”
…”The whole deal with the preppy summertime lifestyle is that you go right from the beach into cocktail hour or you’re on a boat,” he says. “You just keep it rolling.”
…Mr. Murray usually brings a lightweight cashmere V-neck sweater that he can pull on over a polo or button-down shirt on cool summer evenings. Although some prepsters tie such sweaters around their shoulders, Mr. Murray thinks the look is generally more dated. “That’s pretty hard-core,” he says.