Stories are fundamental to the human condition as I believe stories resonant with us at a very profound, subconscious level.
The next time you purchase something of significant value, you are most likely buying the story behind the product or service.
We value stories, we thrive on stories, and we buy stories.
In that vein, I want to share a story about a Vipassana meditation retreat I had in Greece while exploring the Saronic Islands (Hydra, Spetses, and Dokos).
On the way back from my meditation journey, I spent two nights in Athens before my return flight back to New York, waking up after the first night to this remarkable view of the cradle of modern civilization (the Parthenon and the Acropolis).
Source: Qualia Foundation; The Parthenon and The Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
During the second night, I decided to do something different.
I wanted to surprise my wonderful wife by renewing our vows and I thought purchasing a local wedding band symbolizing my journey would most fitting.
I decided to spend my last day in Greece trying to purchase a Greek wedding band.
Unfortunately, I don't know any of the hundreds of jewelry stores in Athens and most of them are locally owned (meaning the owners don't English).
As my Greek is rudimentary (although I'm learning a bit every day), I decided I will just go to Syntagma Square - think Union Square in NYC or San Francisco - and see what happens.
I got there and strangely was drawn to one place in particular - Maramenos & Pateras.
I ended up buying a fantastically unique wedding band on the spot and when I came and picked it up that evening, I was delighted to find out that the store happened to be the Bush’s family to-go jeweler in their favorite country - Greece no less.
Source: Qualia Foundation; George Bush Senior and George Bush Junoir with Panos.
The solid gold necklace pictured is the exact one George Bush Senior brought for Barbara during one of their fantastic voyages to the Aegean.
Source: Qualia Foundation; George Bush Senior buying Barbara's Necklace from Panos.
Panos the manager and I ended up sipping ouzo and discussing life philosophies for at least 3 hours into the evening.
Source: Qualia Foundation; Andrew Vo, Director of the Qualia Foundation, with Panos.
How wonderful is that?