Are You A Patron?

Over at Comment, James K.A. Smith talks about patronage – the kind we all engage in, whether or not we’re wealthy:

At the heart of this sense of “patronage” is a vision of cultural life—not just the arts, but even the mundane aspects of commercial exchange—that is rooted inrelationship. When the hardware store thanked me for my patronage, it’s not because I made a donation to their business. There were things I needed, I paid a fair price, and the owner of the hardware store made a profit. But to see even this commercial transaction as a kind of “patronage” indicates a relationship between customer and proprietor that is not just economic or self-interested. In a way, I’m making a commitment to this shop, and (ideally) that relationship is reciprocated. I patronizethis hardware store because they’re also getting to know me: they know I’m pretty clueless about plumbing but don’t make me feel stupid when I ask dumb questions. They know I live in an old house and they can picture the challenges that come with it. I see Bill at football games on Friday nights and we appreciate that we are both more than customers and proprietors: we’re fathers, husbands, church members. This feels very different than the vast anonymity of so much of our economic lives transacted in big box stores.

Read the whole thing here.

Coffee Week
And Speaking of Friendship . . .
Lazy Cultural Engagement
The Beauty-Happiness Connection

CLOSE | X

HIDE | X