Why Okinawans Live Long and the Power of Kindness in IT


Hatched by me

Jul 01, 2024

4 min read


Why Okinawans Live Long and the Power of Kindness in IT

In the realm of discussions on longevity, the Okinawans have always held a special place. Their remarkable lifespan has intrigued scientists and health enthusiasts alike for years. While many factors contribute to their longevity, one interesting aspect that has recently come to light is their consumption of a peculiar vegetable called bittermelon. It seems that the Okinawans religiously include this plant in their diet, and it might just be one of the secrets to their long and healthy lives.

But what does bittermelon have to do with IT, you may ask? Well, in an unexpected twist, a Reddit user sharing their experience on r/talesfromtechsupport introduced us to the "Swedish Fish Theory." This theory suggests that acts of kindness, such as sending candy with a faulty product for repair, can have a profound impact on customer service and overall satisfaction.

The story goes like this: the Reddit user encountered a catastrophic failure in their watercooled computer rig. The pump blew, flooding the power supply unit (PSU) with non-conductive coolant. Surprisingly, the only casualty was the PSU, which most likely succumbed to the pump malfunction. Determined to make the best of a bad situation, the user decided to document the incident and sent the PSU back to the manufacturer for replacement, accompanied by a generous bag of candy and a friendly note.

To their delight, the PSU arrived back in their hands a little over a week later, fully replaced with a brand new one, despite its drenched state. This positive outcome was not an isolated incident. Another customer shared a similar experience, where a PSU was damaged by a spilled Dr Pepper. However, thanks to the inclusion of candy and a friendly note, the PSU was promptly replaced without any issues. What's more, the user even received an email from the manufacturer expressing gratitude for the unexpected treat.

These anecdotes from the world of IT support highlight the potential power of small acts of kindness. Just as the Okinawans attribute part of their longevity to their consistent consumption of bittermelon, the Swedish Fish Theory suggests that a little bit of candy can go a long way in fostering a positive and appreciative atmosphere in the IT industry. It serves as a reminder that in a field often characterized by thanklessness, a simple gesture of kindness can make a significant difference.

So, how can we apply the lessons from Okinawa and the Swedish Fish Theory to our own lives and professions? Here are three actionable pieces of advice:

  • 1. Embrace the Bittermelon Mentality: Just as the Okinawans prioritize the inclusion of bittermelon in their diet, we can focus on incorporating healthy habits into our own lives. Whether it's adopting a balanced diet, engaging in regular exercise, or practicing mindfulness, small changes can lead to significant improvements in our overall well-being and longevity.
  • 2. Spread Kindness in Your Field: In the world of IT, where frustrations and challenges are commonplace, take a moment to extend a gesture of kindness. Whether it's sending a thank-you note, surprising a colleague with a treat, or simply offering a helping hand, these acts of kindness can create a more positive and supportive work environment.
  • 3. Find Joy in the Unexpected: Just as the Reddit user received unexpected gratitude from the PSU manufacturer, allow yourself to find joy in unexpected moments. Embrace the surprises that come your way, and approach them with an open mind and a positive attitude. You never know what pleasant outcomes may arise from even the most challenging situations.

In conclusion, the Okinawans' longevity and the Swedish Fish Theory both teach us valuable lessons. By incorporating healthy habits into our lives and spreading kindness in our respective fields, we can make a positive impact on our overall well-being and the experiences of those around us. So, let's take a page from the Okinawans' book and start including our own version of bittermelon in our lives. And, in the spirit of the Swedish Fish Theory, let's make sending candy and acts of kindness the norm, not just in IT but in every aspect of our lives. After all, a little bit of sweetness can go a long way.

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