Take Over the World the GRIT Way


| 1/19/2010 10:19:40 AM


KC ComptonLast night I found myself gnashing my teeth once more over the poisonous political atmosphere in our country, the fury erupting in Haiti, the insanity of our financial situation and other things that go bump in the night, and in the process of sorting it all out, I wrote a note to a friend. What I said sort of popped out and surprised me, but now that I’ve articulated it, I think it makes perfect sense: GRIT needs to take over the world.

Yes, I know. It’s a bold statement, but please, hear me out. Here at GRIT, our values are all about hard work and pleasure in simple things. We’re about community and self-reliance, in just about equal measure. We talk about how to feed ourselves, grow things, build stuff, get along with each other and say a holy “Gee whiz” at the amazing intricacy of the natural world. And that’s just what’s between the pages of our magazine.

Even better is what goes on here behind the scenes. Get this: our staff gets along and works out differences. I know. I know. Amazing. When things get rough, we have conversations and figure out ways to do better.

Now, within the GRIT staff itself, we have the comfort level of somewhat similar backgrounds: We grew up in small towns or on farms, we went to church and were in 4-H, FFA or FHA, had some experience doing chores we didn’t want to and some sense of celebration with our families and communities when the work was done.

But we work for a company with a couple hundred people here under the same roof, and not everyone has that same history. We live in a relatively conservative state, one that the national media would have us believe is intolerant and impossible for anyone who isn’t white, politically conservative and religiously fundamental. Daily, we put the lie to that assumption.



We have white people working here, black people, Hispanic people, Asian people. We have Christians of various flavors—Protestant, with several subdivisions (Baptist, Freewill Baptist, Episcopalian, Church of Christ, Community churches, etc.); Catholic; Jewish; Buddhist and a few employees who might be described as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. The staff includes straights, gays and who-the-heck-knows; liberals, conservatives, arch-liberals, arch-conservatives and maybe a few commies or anarchists who just know how to keep their mouths shut (doubtful).

KC Compton_2
2/22/2010 9:22:34 AM

Thanks, Robyn. One of my abiding memories of Arizona was when I stopped there on my first cross-country, solo road trip and was gassing up my old Plymouth Fury (which my dad thought was so much better a choice than that cute little Carman-Ghia convertible I'd had my eye on). This guy got out of his truck and strode into the station to pay for his gas and I almost hit the deck. He was wearing two bandoliers, each full of bullets, criss-crossed across his chest and a pistol the size of my Dust-vac in a holster below his waist. Very Clint Eastwood, very spaghetti Western. Except that this was the early 1970s in freakin' Arizona. I looked around to see if there were a movie crew in the area, and thought for sure the next sound I'd hear would be gunfire from the Seven-Eleven Corral. Turns out, he was street legal there. As long as we can SEE that cannon you're packin' ... "Arizona: The Don't Mess With Me, Mister" state. :=] --KC


Robyn Dolan
2/20/2010 8:53:32 AM

You pretty much said it all. I can think of several organizations that would benefit from such a "corporate business policy", if you will: Congress, the White House, the UN, and several church organizations; the list could go on and on. But then, they wouldn't get it anyway. Keep up the good work. I think Alaska must be a bit like Arizona - the wild west! Indescribably beautiful in places, and many of the people very survivalist.


KC Compton_2
2/15/2010 9:43:56 AM

Ha! Yes, Susan. Midwest manners are legendary for a reason. I was in Alaska a few years back for a bike ride (rode the old Denali highway from Goodwell to Payson -- at least I think that's the name of the towns) and found Alaskans to be nice as well, but significantly more rowdy than your average Kansan. :=] Alaska was so beautiful, I ran out of ways to describe how beautiful it was ("very, very, very spectacular" just doesn't have the ring of poetry to it). I'd love to go back sometime and do that ride again, this time actually TRAINING for it. --KC