Lately, I’ve been looking for truth in a lot of places, and coming up short. These days it is difficult to tell if a news story is factual and void of conspiracy theories. If there isn’t a conspiracy theory unveiled, then my mind quickly develops one. It seems that everything previously determined as bonafide is now questionable. Many of our leaders can’t be trusted, the media is often suspect, and too many folks are defending their views with limited research but plenty of fervor on social platforms, clogging up communication.
Lies have become commonplace, replaced daily by larger deliveries of distraction, usually assembled with more lies. Distressed and distrust has infiltrated my typical temperament of optimism and hope.
Then, on my way home tonight, I saw a glimmer. The mirage came into focus just as the sun was setting beyond a pumpkin field and over the edge of some mud. About one mile from my house, a sweet little farm stand displays its locally grown produce and flowers, and it’s all for sale. There is no cashier or attendant, instead there is a beat-up old box with a slit in the top, wide enough to accept cash payments. This whole business operates on the honor system. Most times when I pass this farm stand, cars are parked on the side of the road, and patrons are feeding the box. Sometimes there’s local honey too.
Did I look for video surveillance cameras after I selected my pumpkins and headed toward the cash box? I’m not sure I should tell you, I don’t want to tell a lie.
The fact that sweet roadside stands with the honor payment system still exist dotted across our country speaks directly to our county’s core. A summer stand with fresh cut zinnias in mason jars by the town’s librarian in Canton Center, Connecticut. A small apple stand next to a family orchard in Dexter, Michigan. Or, a lovely orange blossom and wildflower honey stand in Florida.
These are shining examples that entrepreneurship and trust can co-exist. That there are still individuals that know their moral compass will always guide them correctly. And that by setting the bar of business higher, we all can stand a little taller together.