I just left a manicure salon owned and operated by a team of Vietnamese women. About 35 work there at any one time and I watched them interacting throughout my time there. While rotations determine who is painting nails, doing neck massages or performing other beauty maintenance procedures, those not actively ‘working’ are sitting together preparing materials for work, heating food and eating, or giving each other neck massages, manicures, and the like. It is a constant stream of chatter – none of which can I understand – but one that is full of laughter. They spend 10 hours a day in the salon and 3 hours on the freeways together commuting by carpool two and from work.
It made me think of those communities in Italy where longevity is so great, in part because the social connections are strong. Science is continually confirming that strong and positive social connections promote health and wellbeing. Despite the long hours, the manicurists I asked told me they like what they do and particularly being with their friends at work. None of them knew each other before they began, but now it’s like one giant family.
I stopped by the manicurists on my way home from the X Prize Visioneering meeting, a means of developing future X Prizes and engaging potential donors and sponsors in the process. The X Prize is the brainchild of Peter Diamandis, a doctor and creative genius who co-founded Singularity University as well. What Peter does best is think ‘big’ and then and make that thinking become reality.