“Crafted with LOVE by HAND” – Vocation and Voluntary Exchange as Loving Your Neighbor

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“Crafted with LOVE by HAND…” Add Dominoes to a growing list of businesses that are emphasizing the hand-crafted means of certain products, whether it be a finely hand-crafted beverage from the local barista or a hand-sown dress from a local merchant. Is this an oversell, an artificial infusion of altruism in the production of goods? I think not.

The primary and ordinary means whereby we love our neighbor is through the production of goods and exchange of skilled labor. Of course labor is motivated by the paycheck, but the paycheck essentially symbolizes the value placed on goods and labor by the one receiving them. Sure, there are some who begrudgingly fork over more money than they’d like for a transmission repair and other undesirable obligations, but even that exchange is voluntary because of the value of transportation and our lack of expertise in the specialized labor the car mechanic offers. The exchange is still voluntary, and thus represents a mutual respect, and dare I say, loving affirmation of one’s goods and services.

We love our neighbor by trading with them. Such exchange benefits both parties and at the same time brings about flourishing in a way that exceeds the sum if the mere parts. As I ate my Dominoes pizza, “crafted with LOVE by HAND,” I used the opportunity to reaffirm to my daughter Kira (9), how we are enjoying the sum of much labor in the entire process of the production of our pizza. Many exchanges took place and neither of those little exchanges had us particularly in mind. I reminded Kira of a short story I previously read, I, Pencil.

Dominoes had us in mind, and thus made incarnate the creative genius of the mind. This process involved some level of research and development as well, all to make incarnate a product that would serve the pleasure of consumers. This is loving one’s neighbor. The value I asses on the pizza is made incarnate through a means of exchange, currency. Currency is generally only acquired when I serve others, who place a value on my goods and services. The circle of exchange expands and you have a civilization built on meeting the needs of others – essentially loving one’s neighbor.

So, yes, Dominoes is correct in affirming that the pizza that served me quite nicely was indeed “Crafted with LOVE…”

© 2013, Rick Hogaboam. All rights reserved.

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3 comments on ““Crafted with LOVE by HAND” – Vocation and Voluntary Exchange as Loving Your Neighbor
  1. This was fun to read and I generally agree with you, but it sounds like you are saying that all products are “crafted with love” which dilutes its distinct meaning. I also think that ascribing “love for your neighbor” as the motive for all exchanges is too broad. In fact, one of the great things about the free market is that it fosters exchange even between people who hate each other.

    Of course, love is the ideal, but while the profit motive in a free market cooperates with and may even engender virtues of love and serving others, that doesn’t mean they are always present or dominant.

    It just so happens that loving people’s money often manifests similarly to loving the people themselves, which is great, but that’s also why it’s good to be a skeptical and discerning consumer. The salesman might not have your best interests at heart.

    In this case, “crafted with love” strikes me as a marketing tactic, since it originates corporately for mass production and not from the craftsmen (cooks) themselves whose love it is presumably describing. Of course, such love could be a condition of employment, but that’s hard to enforce, and besides, love isn’t love if it is forced. Or maybe it’s the design of the pizza that was “crafted with love” along with the R&D.

    • Great thoughts, Kevin. I agree with your comments and would qualify similarly, but my piece wasn’t exhaustive. I think a marketing ploy may be at work unless the branding is a genuine effort by the franchise to infuse their employees with purpose , and thus foster a workplace ethos where the employees view their labors as lovingly serving the customer.

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