Frankly speaking, that is not the case.
We do not seem to have become better but rather, if possible, we seem to have buried even the good intentions under the imaginary wreckage, along with the fear and difficulties we have gone through.
Just look at what is happening in the blown world orders, in the increasingly heated fights for the power that have nothing to do with the communities welfare and safeguard, but are an expression of those who pursue only their own interests, those who are bond to castes and world lobbies. In a globalized world, loneliness has dangerously crossed us, brooding bitterness and desire for revenge at any cost.
Observing the ugliness of life every day exacerbates even the strongest spirits, especially when we notice similar dynamics recurring in our industry: the voice of the strongest shouting, that of those who do not have the same power resonating smothered. Those who communicate speak reciting a script written elsewhere where their own opinions matter little, while the agreed-upon script counts.
How sad. The black on white of this reflection, however, is by no means a surrender but an awareness that, as is always the case when you are able to name a problem, indicates that you are half-solving it.
I recall a quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill: “The trouble with our times consists in the fact that men do not want to be useful but important.” Testimonials, Influencers, fascinating marketing concepts, wonderful and engaging music and impactful images in promotional campaigns taste like nothing if we don’t hold on to a core foundation of essential principles and values.
Now, as then, it really seems that we need simple and genuine things, words with substance, real references and sincere people, professionals who know how to make themselves useful. This is what we opticians, eyes on the real world of this industry, experience every day when a customer crosses the threshold of our little world. This is what is more valuable than any technological object, any precious artifact made more or less meticulously.
The first and only chain to be sustained and safeguarded in the optical industry is the value chain. There is no supply chain without them; you cannot have a value chain if human values are missing. Value is not inherent in effective communication, in a good idea, in a valuable material, in an innovative design, in perfectly fine-tuned eyewear. Value lies in having the opportunity to be able to express ourselves and our work freely by bonding our choices to strong and ethical principles, in a world where the concepts of respect, trust, consistency, and fairness truly inhabit.
It may sound like just a nice speech for its own sake made up of nice words that leave time for itself. But we are opticians; we cannot be myopic. We have to be the first to ensure that we see straight to ensure clarity in our world, to really bring value, and actually be useful, to our customers as much as to our industry.