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Partnership Economics is a uniquely distinguishable approach to reshaping and creating a better form of capitalism.

In part this is true because Partnership Economics springs from a healthy and sustainable theological perspective. This perspective recognizes that humans are hard-wired social creatures who require, even desire, healthy personal relationships to survive and to thrive. Further, Partnership Economics recognizes that unless the social skills necessary to develop and maintain those healthy relationships are baked into our social constructs, such as our social-economic construct of capitalism, we fail to have healthy social constructs.

As the framers of Partnership Economics and authors of the book Better Capitalism, we don’t merely point to the social skills and emotional intelligence attributes now so frequently the subjects of conversations and blog posts everywhere (e.g., ‘respect,' ‘empathy,’ and ‘compassion’). Rather, we teach the sources and thinking of the ethics and ethos that develop and support those skills and attributes. We then show how they are contextualized and applied, as social-economic skills, to reshape and create a more ethical, sustainable, and profitable form of capitalism: A Better Capitalism.

People learn through different means, and books are certainly a primary way. Even within the pages of a book, critical messages are presented in different voices and forms so as to resonate with as many readers as possible. We use numbers and statistics in support of Partnership Economics; we also use stories. One story we share in our book illustrates how the Partnership Economic ethic and ethos of mutuality operates. Here it is:

Photo by Warren Wong on Unsplash

"There is an old story, told in many cultures, about two brothers who were farmers. They shared and worked and together farmed the land that their father had left them. One of the brothers was unmarried and lived alone in a small house on one side of their fields. The other brother was married, he and his wife had a large family of six children, and they lived in a larger house on the other side of their fields.

Every day the brothers worked side by side in the fields, and every harvest they divided the grain they harvested evenly between them, half and half. It had always been so.

One night, the brother who lived alone found himself thinking that it was unfair that they should divide the grain evenly because he had only himself to feed and his brother had his large family to feed. 'He should receive more of the grain than I,' this brother decided. So that night he took a sack of grain from his own barn, crept across the star-lit fields, and secretly put it into his brother’s barn.

That same night the brother who was married sat looking into the faces of his beloved family and found himself thinking that it was unfair that he and his brother should divide the grain evenly, because every day he himself was surrounded by his large loving family, and had so many children who could help care for him when he grew too old to work—while his brother lived all alone, and had no children to care for him in his old age.

'He should take more than half of the harvest so that he could store some for the future or sell it and have the money for his old age,' this brother decided. So later that night after his family was asleep, he took a sack of grain from his own barn and crept across the star-lit fields and put it into his brother’s barn.

Both brothers slept well and satisfied that night, but each was shocked and puzzled the next morning, when counting the sacks of grain (as they did every morning), to discover that one sack was not missing, as it should have been, but there was the same number of sacks of grain as the day before.

This went on for several nights until one night they each started taking that night’s grain over to his brother’s barn at the same time—and met in the middle of the field. And each saw immediately what the answer to the puzzling mystery was. They set down their sacks and embraced each other.

And God looked down from heaven and proclaimed, 'This will be forever a holy place, for here I have witnessed great love.'"

This story illustrates “pursuing our economic neighbor’s interest and our self-interest.” The care shown to the economic neighbor, literally the brother in this story but applicable to any economic neighbor, is obvious. Perhaps less obvious but every bit as significant is the self-interest. By caring for the other, each brother also benefits himself—he ensures that his business partner is well-supplied and therefore healthy, happy, willing, and able to continue as a productive partner. The benefit is mutual; both sides gain from each exchange. Caring for the other creates productivity that benefits the self and is the basis for continued caring/investing in the mutually beneficial partnership.

Partnering, in the Partnership Economic sense, is about mutual benefit created by exchanging in ways that are profitable for self and other(s). Mutuality is one example of the Partnership Economics uniquely distinguishable approach to reshaping and creating a better form of capitalism.

What about you? Share your story, question, comment, idea, disagreement -- yes, we welcome disagreement for the sake of mutual benefit! -- with us at We will give a thoughtful response, with prioritized attention to emails from our subscribers. Subscribe here >>

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