Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Have A Coke And A Moment

I came across a quote from the CEO of Coca-Cola that got me to thinking. The quote was, “We sell moments of pleasure for cents billions of times a day.” I had my doubts about that, until I saw this commercial and realized how happy Coke drinkers could be:

Can't see the video? Click here.

Anyway, I really like that phrase “moments of pleasure” and think that is has a great relevance to the work we do at Imagine!, and in fact all of us who are in the field of serving individuals with one or more developmental disabilities.

Let me explain. Like most people, I have little “moments of pleasure” stored in my memory bank that sometimes pop up in my brain for no particular reason. For example, I remember as a child going on a fishing trip with the superintendant of my school. I can’t remember now why exactly I went fishing with the superintendant, but I remember some specifics of the trip as if it were yesterday. I remember riding in his green Volkswagen Beetle, I remember what the weather was like, and I remember that when we got to the stream to fish we went in different directions to find our spots. Most of all, I remember that I had a great time.

So why do I remember that one particular moment? I honestly have no idea. I know I went fishing many times – by myself, with my family, with my friends. But for whatever reason, this memory lingers where others have faded.

I believe that unknown aspect of why I remember some moments of pleasure versus others is related closely to providing services in our field, especially for Direct Support Professionals. We never know when we will have an interaction with one of the individuals that we serve that will trigger something in them and take a spot in their own collection of memories. It could happen at any time and any place.

That is why it is so important for all of us the field to approach our jobs with energy and an openness to being ready for the moment. I know that is easier said then done, especially in the climate we currently face, where dwindling resources and burdensome regulations make creating those special moments all the more difficult.

But not many other people can say that they work at a job where every day and every interaction is filled with the possibility of becoming someone’s memorable moment of pleasure. And those moments of pleasure are undoubtedly going to be far more significant (and possibly more beneficial in the long run) than someone drinking a Coke.

Then again, what do I know?


  1. Hi Mark
    Great post. I have been through several of those accelerated learning courses, and one thing they teach you is that you remember things better when there is an emotional component to them. Its like I can describe a piece of AT software, but people will remember much better if I tell a story about a person using that software. I guess the point is there is certainly a lot of emotion in our work, whether we like it or not, and that is not always such a bad thing. Anyway, I enjoyed your story, but I gotta run....seems like I am real thirsty for a Coke...

  2. One of the reasons I love working as a DSP is that I have those moments each and every day I work. I have larger career goals that I continue to pursue, but until that time comes, this is one main reason I am more than happy working side by side with people in their homes. Great post. Thank you.