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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

May 17, 2012 - Y, 2Ks

By Scott Harrup

No, this is not a misspelled meditation on the turn-of-the-millennium hype that kept computer programmers writing software patches around the clock to avoid a prophesied techno-meltdown with the arrival of two lowly zeros in the date. Rather, I’m referencing the other most famous combination of a Y and two Ks.

Whether your wardrobe leans toward blue jeans or bespoke, there’s a good chance you will find YKK engraved on the majority of your zippers. YKK, or (Jeopardy enthusiasts take note “What is…?”) Yoshida Kogyo Kabushikikaisha, is the Japanese firm responsible for roughly half the zippers on the planet — manufacturing more than 7 billion a year.

In a recent online article, writer Seth Stevenson notes Tadao Yoshida established the company in 1934, and went on to develop processes for every level of zipper construction. Quoting a 1998 Los Angeles Times article, Stevenson reports YKK “‘smelts its own brass, concocts its own polyester, spins and twists its own thread, weaves and color-dyes cloth for its zipper tapes, forges and molds its scooped zipper teeth …’ and on and on.”

I found Stevenson’s explication fascinating, precisely because my randomly musing brain has often noted those three little letters when zipping up a jacket or even the heavy sleeping bag of which my youngest son is fond (with a zipper that faithfully jams, but only because an errant fold of quilting tends to slip between the teeth).

YKK zippers are the picture of efficiency and long life. Many clothing manufacturers wouldn’t think of substituting another brand of zipper when such a relatively small item can monopolize a garment’s functionality. To top off my takeaway, I learned something about YKK’s corporate philosophy in Stevenson’s article that could substitute for a life theme I’ve long admired.

Yoshida built his corporate giant on a simple idea that, roughly translated from Japanese, could be called “The Cycle of Goodness” and might be worded as, “No one prospers unless he renders benefit to others.”

Or, as the greatest Teacher of all time would have said (this time translated from Aramaic): “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31, NCV).

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (sharrup.agblogger.org).

 

 

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