It's hard to explain. You know it when you experience it, like a great wine or a wonderful musical experience. It's just plain right.
In 1980 a friend and I were extolling the virtues of Manhattan Island to an audience on the other coast and we were admonished with skepticism: ``You're telling us of a fantasy, people with godlike powers.'' A few months later, all of us had the opportunity to spend sixty hours in and around the island of Manhattan and they were truly convinced that this Fantastic, Godlike Power (FGP) could be a reality. The funny part, to those of us who grew up around FGP, is that the people who live this way are neither fantastic nor godlike. They're just people willing to work to make this a better world for themselves to live in.
FGP depends on many things, but most of all it depends on everybody wanting it to happen and being willing to work for it. It also requires the ability to know when things are right and when they're not. And it requires a comfort in communicating with people, working with people, forming relationships with people. Sometimes those relationships last years and other times they're over in less than a minute, but the basic, fundamental, primal concept in FGP, in making things go right, is that the other participants in life are people trying to make their lives go right.
At the short-term end of the spectrum, it means walking into a restaurant without saying a word and having the host direct me to the people I'm meeting. They're waiting for somebody and I look like I'm looking for somebody, so we probably go together, right?
And at the long-term end of the spectrum, it means working with people, sometimes people very far away, to make sure that everybody's needs are fulfilled over the duration of a business relationship.
The result is an astoundingly higher quality of life with FGP than without it. I can walk up to a door with bags in both arms and knowing that that door will be opened for me by somebody passing by. I consider opening doors for other people a small price to pay for that luxury.
My friend and I used to talk of a Magic Place. To get there, you had to go over a little red lighthouse or under a river a mile wide. Twenty years of post-modern moral decay has, no-doubt, diluted the wonder of this place, but I like to think that much of it is still the same.