Dear Vanguard Logistics and potential Vanguard Logistics customers,
I am writing this open letter to express my deepest disappointment in Vanguard Logistics’ customer service, follow-through, and failure-to-deliver on promises and payment-rendered services.
It is important that the general public knows about this case, as it may save someone (like me, who is trying her best to grow a small business) from having similar issues.
I ordered 39 boxes of goods from overseas that have been in possession of Vanguard Logistics since (at least) early July 2021. This order was set for “self-pickup” from Vanguard’s Chicago warehouse (GLO4). As of today, November 1, I am still unable to pick up my packages. I have no date of when I will be able to pick up my packages. I have been offered no compensation for Vanguard’s negligence.
It feels as if Vanguard is holding my packages hostage, despite already receiving my payment for their services over 4 months ago.
Throughout this process, I have received a litany of excuses of why I am unable to access my goods. The current excuse is that their system is down, company-wide, and has been down since last Friday.
Keep in mind, Vanguard Logistics is a company that generated two hundred million+ in sales last year. I am confused at how a hundred-million dollar+ company is able to function without their system for over a week.
I sent this email to the C-suite at Vanguard Logistics, including to their CEO Onno Meij, as well as all of my contacts re: this case last week. Nobody has responded to my email, so I decided to publish it to my blog, in hopes of eliciting a response:
“On 7/6, I got this message from Linh Lien from Vanguard: “ON 7/5 THIS CONTAINER WAS IN TRANSIT TO GLOBAL 3 DUE TO CONGESTION. PENDING MOVEMENT TO GLOBAL 4 FOR GROUNDING. UPDATES TO FOLLOW.”
Linh’s message tells me that, by 7/5, Vanguard Logistics obtained access to goods that were being shipped to me. I payed, in-full, at that time in order to ensure timely pick-up of my goods. It is now October 26, and I still have not been able to pick up my goods.
I received infrequent updates regarding the status of my packages in July and even less frequent updates in August.
I sent multiple emails to Vanguard in September re: updates to where my packages were/ when I’d be able to pick up. No one from Vanguard returned any of my emails in September.
In October, I sent additional emails, stating that this would be my final attempt to contact Vanguard. Finally, I was connected with Chris Baillie, VP of Central Region. Chris has acted unprofessionally in a variety of ways: making false promises, failing to follow through, not answering his phone or returning phone calls.
I have sent and continue to send Chris and his assistant Sharice several emails, only some of which they respond(ed) to. The phone number for Vanguard that is listed on my paperwork is disconnected. Sharice nor Chris answer their phones. I am unable to leave Sharice a voicemail. I’ve left Chris at least 8 voicemails over the past few weeks. He has returned my call in less than a third of opportunities. I typically have to email and leave additional voicemails in order to get him to call me back. Following up with Vanguard trying to elicit a response has turned into a full-time job. As a customer, I find this completely unacceptable.
On Friday, 10/22, Chris spoke to me on the phone and guaranteed that I’d be able to pickup my packages on Monday 10/25. On Monday 10/25, he told me that I was not able to pick up my packages due to system-wide issues. He has not provided me a date for pickup. He has not returned several calls and emails that I have made in the past two days. I have left him three voicemails since the last time we talked, and have not heard back from him. I also have had two other people call him and leave multiple messages to call them back; Chris did not return any of their calls either.
As the Vice President of the region, Chris Baillie is casting a dark shadow on the entirety of Vanguard Logistics. His behavior is unprofessional. The lack of customer service I have experienced and the abysmal timeliness re: my order has stained Vanguard’s reputation. I am an author and a blogger, and I will not hesitate to share my opinions and the facts from this case with the internet.
Vanguard has failed to deliver my packages to me in a timely fashion. I do not trust that the company is in possession of my packages, due to the lack of communication and abysmal customer service. I have already filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau and I am considering taking further legal action.
I am eagerly awaiting response from Vanguard, and more eagerly awaiting the pickup of my packages.
If anyone reading this has any advice for me, please leave it in the comments.
Note: Since sending this email, I have been in contact with Chris Baillie who has been providing me more frequent updates re: status of their system (but only when I initiate contact). He has also provided me photographic proof that the container my packages are in is at GLO4, but has stated that he is unable to allow me access to my packages.
MC: I spent the longest time trying to figure out how I wanted to tell this story. Tempting Vows is very much fiction, but my character Ava Mae does have many similarities to me: the way she lives in her head and talks to herself. I wanted to figure out to tell my story in a fun and sexy way, that also incorporates taboo. We’re all stuck in a world where we think to ourselves, “What are they going to think about this?” “What is my mom/sister/dad/friends going to think about this?”
I just wanted to create a whole world that was based somewhat on research and understanding, but also throwing in a ton of stuff that I don’t have personal experience with. More important to me are the overarching themes of the book: women empowerment, finding your voice, being a sexual being, being feminine, battling the masculine side (especially as a business woman), and also the communication that needs to happen in every partnership. Relationships are defined by the two people that are in them.
Every relationship is different. The energies between the two people are contractually different. As you see my trilogy continue, you’ll see how important communication is. Then, you’ll see how lack of communication causes breakdowns.
Kristina: A trilogy?! Do you have the next book written?
MC: Not completely, but it will be out in December. The thing is, I’ve had these stories in my head for 10 years. It feels like I’ve been writing these stories forever. The trilogy is already planned out with my editor, but now I just have to fill in the blanks. It’s kind of like Mad Libs. The story has been in me for so long, I just needed the courage to write it.
Kristina: I think that is an amazing thing! A little spoiler alert: Tempting Vows is about a woman exploring open relationships and the swinger lifestyle, both concepts which are foreign and taboo for many people.
I know what it’s like to have a story inside me that is bursting out. I’m interested in your journey. With your topic being more taboo, what was your process?
MC: Well, there hasn’t been anything like 50 Shades of Gray released since 50 Shades of Gray. Sure, we have Sex Life out on Netflix, but it’s a based on a book written a bajillion years ago. We haven’t had an author recently dive into the “taboo” world (that really isn’t so secret if you open your eyes.) You’d be surprised: I bet you know more people in these situations than you think you do.
None of us are picture perfect. We all have our secrets. Whether you are in the midst of a swinger relationship, a don’t-ask-don’t-tell relationship, an open relationship, or no relationship— we all have a secret that opens your eyes to the idea that there is no such thing as a “perfect marriage.” What works for some people, doesn’t work for another. To my character, Ava Mae, I say, “You do you, boo. Your life isn’t for me to judge.”
Kristina: It is a very interesting perspective. You know, I think that fans of 50 Shades of Gray will really love your book.
MC: I hope that the fans of 50 Shades will show my book the same type of love. But, my book is different. Ava Mae is a crazy strong woman. She’s powerful. What drove me crazy with 50 Shades is that the main character was just so meek. But no! We’re in 2021. Woman aren’t like that anymore. I’m certainly not. But, my series is similar and I think fans of 50 Shades will love Tempting Vows. You don’t even know how juicy it’s going to get!
Kristina: You talked about exploring perspectives. I spoke with an English teacher last week about how perspective is everything in literature. Ava Mae has an interesting perspective like the main character in book. Sometimes, people who have that “picture perfect life,” well, there’s a dissonance there. There are two sides to every coin and you have to pick your poison.
MC: Yes! Even though they live a luxurious lifestyle, they are still a normal problem who has good and bad times. My goal was to have every woman who read my book identify with some part of Ava Mae: whether that be related to confidence, body issue, or getting pregnant out of wedlock and then getting married in a black dress. I wanted to make her relatable, but also show how we talk to ourselves in our head all day. I wanted to make Ava Mae frank and honest.
The point of the book is exploration of your self. Knowing what you want and need… then, asking for it.
Kristina: So many of us go through our lives just settling for comfort. Even that some of these subjects are considered taboo show how our society is close-minded in a way. Close-mindedness lies on the opposite spectrum of growth: it’s like anti-growth. I find it interesting that we still have all these “taboo” topics.
MC: Agreed. It’s mind blowing to me that we still have taboo topics in 2021… there are all these movements saying “You can do what you want to do,” and “You can be what you want to be.” But can we? I wanted to write these books for so long, but fear kept me back. Are we— as women in society— really as free as we think we are? If we were, none of these topics would be so taboo.
Kristina: It’s true. I think another challenge is separating the art from the artist, or the author from the book. The public doesn’t need to know about your personal life choices, and in fact, knowing your personal interests doesn’t add anything to the book. It’s important to search for underlying meanings buried in the text.
I’ve learned, you can’t write a book unless you have a message that’s bursting out of you. When you are open to your truest, deepest self in that way, I think really amazing things unfold in the world around you. Have you noticed a positive change in your life since more authentically living your truth?
MC: Yes. Writing this book was very therapeutic for me, and my relationship is stronger for it. I talk to my therapist a lot about my writing, every Wednesday during my 2-hour therapy session. I have specific themes I want to get across, but in a fun and interesting way. I didn’t want to write just another self-help book.
The day I pressed publish was the scariest day I’ve had in a long time… since I literally birthed my son. I thought, “I’ve just bared my soul to the world and people are going to judge it.” People can be unkind… especially on social media. I was scared. But then, I made the decision to let that feeling/energy go. I decided I wasn’t going to focus on anything other than being true to myself. People are going to hate or judge whether you “do the thing” or not.
The day I pressed publish was the day I truly stepped into myself. I have stepped into a whole new universe. I wrote a book! Now, I feel like I can do anything… because, why not?!
Kristina: There is something so powerful about letting go of that judgement. Judgement can be so persistent… and cultural.
MC: That’s the thing. It never goes away completely. The fear never subsides. You need to acknowledge that fear, acknowledge where it’s coming from… but don’t let it lead you.
Kristina: I think life is risky, in general. People are going to judge you anyways, so you might as well be doing what you want to do. In a similar way, karmically, you’re going to pay for everything in your life too.
The only thing we have control over are our choices. We can’t control the outcome, but we can control our choice or lack of choice. But then, when you work single-mindedly towards a goal, towards your most true self, things start happening for you.
MC: Exactly. Why not!? Why can’t you do that business. Why can’t you do that thing you want to do? Fear shouldn’t be the thing that stops you. You especially shouldn’t be afraid to lose friends. If you lose friends, they never were your friends anyway. If they don’t support you, they were never your friend anyway. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that my circle gets tighter and tighter every year. You have to learn to be okay with that.
Kristina: It’s true. We have to embrace the ebb and flow of life. Things are going to change in life regardless— inevitably— whether you are asleep in the back seat or calling the shots in the drivers seat.
When you choose to make a choices, you also get to choose to be your most authentic self. There’s a lot of research and philosophy that finds that once you find alignment with your most-true self, magic starts happening all around you.
A line I liked of your book: “A woman’s empowerment is caught between what is expected of her and how she expects to be.” I think that is an important sentiment. Taylor Swift also touches on it a lot. Especially as women, even in every part of our lives— our role in our family, in society, even as small as in your relationship— there are many cultural norms and pressure to fit in. It seems like that is the “right/good” thing to do because that’s what most people are doing.
But, even a dead fish can flow downstream… along with the current.
MC: I love that! The world will be a better place as soon as people realize they are meant to follow their own path, and that not everyone is meant to be on the same path. It’s not a competition though, like we aren’t ever going to be blocking each other’s paths. It’s more like, your light can help my light shine brighter (and vice versa). Let’s walk next to each other… allow everyone’s light to shine. When everyone is themselves, their own essence… it only allows the person next to us shine even brighter. We’re all different for a reason. It is so important that we all understand that it’s okay to let other people’s light shine in their own ways and at their own times. This is especially true in relationships! We shouldn’t be doing any blocking in our relationships or life. Think of everything as an energetic field. A grid! Everyone has their own path.
Kristina: I like to think about it statistically. Like, if you were to plot your optimal well-being on a chart throughout time and were to do the same with all of the other stories around you: all of the people around you, all the people who have ever lived, the story of the universe, even. We see, like in the stock market, how things tend to come back to their equilibrium. Prices flow around their equilibrium or average. I think, if you align yourself with someone with you admire, or someone you might otherwise feel competition with, you should look at it as them helping elevate your equilibrium! It’s selfish, in a way, but it’s also good for everyone when you are being the best you can be. Society needs that message right now! Especially with all of the polarization in society.
MC: I know! And all the message needs to be is: I respect you, you respect me. I’m shining bright, you’re shining bright. That’s it! It is then that we can help one another, even if we don’t agree on everything.
I don’t know if the divisiveness in our society will go away unless something major happens, but I hope that if we look within, we can find the answers. The truth. It’s all inside of you. It isn’t in what your husband says, your kids, or your boss. Those are just words. It’s inside of you. You have to believe it. Once you find that power inside of yourself— and you’re right, it ebbs and flows just like the stock market or the real estate market— once you stay true to your heart, you’ll find your way, strength and power. It’s inside. That is the story of Ava Mae in Tempting Vows, especially in book 2.
Kristina: That’s amazing. I think you find that you are most satisfied in life when you try to live in accordance to your truest self.
MC: I agree. And, look to what scares you the most. This book thing is the scariest thing I’ve ever done in my life— and I’ve sold millions of dollars of real estate! But, when I got to the other side… you’re still going to have fear. I still have fear that I may have stirred up something crazy. But that doesn’t make me not proud. Once you get on the other side of the ocean of fear, you feel powerful. But you’ll still have doubt. You’ll have all the feels. You should feel all the feels all the time.
That was my goal with my book! To make you, the reader, feel literally every emotion. To feel all the feels! But, it was also something I needed to do for me. I needed to put my heart out there, so I didn’t regret it.
Also, shoutout to my editor Gabriel. He’s a very bright light. I’m thankful for that, I got lucky. Everything aligned. I think that’s what happens when you start going after your dreams. It’s coincidental, but is it? I think it might be meant to be.
Kristina: I totally agree! That reminds me of the story of my illustrator. I really randomly connected with him on instagram because I really liked his work. It turns out he’s a 16-years-old from India and I was the first person to ever pay him for his art! This guy is incredible, the illustrations are fantastic. Now, I see him expanding his professional art career and it’s so exciting. It helps motivate me.
If I would have gone into my book thinking, “oh, these are all the things I’m going to need: an editor, illustrator, printer, etc,” I probably never would have started, because that’s so overwhelming. I just started, and as I started pursuing my dream, it’s amazing how doors started opening for me.
MC: You just have to take that first step past the fear! What if this doesn’t work?! Well it won’t, at least not the exact way you think it will anyways. That’s okay. That’s the wonderful part of life. You adjust. You learn. My end product of my book blew my mind. Just thinking about it right now makes me want to cry. I’m so proud of it.
I think Book 2 will take it to the next level too… people love trilogies! People love to binge! Look at 50 Shades of Gray, she didn’t get noticed til the second book.
Kristina: I’m so excited for you! But, agreed…. I’ve established such a different perspectives throughout this entire process. Fear of other’s opinions can definitely hold you back, but I’ve realized that my opinion not only matters, but is the opinion that matters most in my reality!
MC: You know, I have a teenage son and wrote an erotic and sexy novel. This has all gone through my mind. I had a long talk with my son, and he was like “I’m proud of you! You wrote a whole book.” He’s right.
It doesn’t matter what it is— if you want to write a book, start a t-shirt company, whatever it is. Do the thing!!!
Kristina: It’s so true! I think that segways into a quote that I have for the end of our conversation, but first… where can we find your book?!
MC: It’s on Amazon! Anyone can go onto my Instagram and see the link. Or, go onto Amazon and just search “Tempting Vows.” My book is the only one with that title!
Kristina: Amazing, I look forward to seeing your author journey progress! I’ll leave us with this quote that I’ve adapted from the psychologist/thought leader, Jordan B. Peterson, that reflects some of the themes we’ve been talking about tonight:
Stand your ground and articulate properly. Your haters will disperse all around you and it will be like they aren’t even there. Most of life is just illusion. So, be afraid, but be afraid of the right thing. Be afraid of not saying the things you want most to say, because that is the same thing as net being. If you don’t talk, there’s nothing to you, and then all of life’s suffering may not be worth it.
Once upon a time, a few days ago, the short interest on Game Stop (GME) was 140% and the shares hit $490. It began to experience a short squeeze.
But what does this mean??
Let’s think about it in terms of a drug dealer… we’ll call our hypothetical drug dealer, Melvin Citadel, off the character’s inspiration.
Melvin sells MDMA. There’s a big concert coming up. Everyone wants to be like Miley, at the concert, dancing with molly.
“So, la-da-di-da-di, we like to party… and we can’t stop, and we won’t stop.”
Melvin borrows 1400 “pills” to return later and pay interest on them, even though only 1000 exist. How can he do this?
Melvin never actually holds the MDMA—he isn’t about the drug life. He’s a businessman. You can’t get high on your own supply. He borrows the pills and will return them when they’re cheaper in the future. He then pockets the change.
He has a plan — if he can sell the pills for cheaper and the local drug dealer goes out of business, then he will make a much better return on his investment.
So that’s what he does, or tries to do.
Trying to drive the friendly neighborhood drug dealer, Game Stop, out of business, Melvin drove the price of the MDMA down to $4. Melvin secretly hopes that the price of MDMA goes down to $0.
Remember, there’s only 1000 MDMA pills.
Game Stop sees what’s happening, however, and isn’t going to go down without a fight. Game Stop buys 100 MDMA pills from Melvin, all they can afford. Their friends at Wall Street Bets like MDMA too, and they buy 100 MDMA pills. Now there are only 800 MDMA pills left on the streets.
Another big investor, came in and gobbled up 300 MDMA pills. Now, there are only 500 pills left on the streets, but Melvin still need to return 1400 pills.
The price of MDMA skyrockets because the big investor decides to start selling MDMA online. Now, everyone is interested in MDMA pills.
There’s always been options available on MDMA pills. When the price starts to go up, higher option prices start being written. When the higher option prices are bought, the people (banks, etc) who write the options buy pills in case the options are exercised. This is called gamma hedging. This causes the price of the pills to go up even higher.
Someone at Wall Street Bets realized the situation that Melvin was in and the Reddit army buys more MDMA pills to fuck with Melvin. They like their neighborhood dealer, Game Stop. They don’t want him to go out of business. They don’t like Melvin. Melvin has been getting away with this kind of stuff for ages—at the expense of many of their families. The Reddit army buy 200 more pills.
The price of the MDMA pill rises from $4 to over $400, because demand far outweighed supply.
As the supply of MDMA on the streets dwindled, Melvin tried his hardest to manipulate the price of the drug.
See, Melvin and his friends invested in Robinhood, a marketplace where MDMA is sold.
Robinhood customers buy and sell drugs, as a gateway between regular people and Market Makers like Melvin. On RH, the trades don’t “settle” or “close” until 2 days later. Depending on the net of buys/sells, RH is on the hook to pay or receive money to cover the buys and sells of the drugs. That’s called credit risk. Gap risk measure is, then, their exposure to interest rate risk.
RH decided to only allow people to sell their MDMA vs buy more MDMA, which of course, caused the price to plummet d/t artificially decreased demand in order to decrease their gap risk measure. RH’s CEO got on national television and admitted to doing so to decrease the price of MDMA back to what, he thinks, is normal levels.
This is illegal.
There are rumors that Melvin encouraged RH to do this, because Melvin’s debts are starting to get called in and he is worried about paying for it.
Because Melvin sold more MDMA pills than they are on the market, the people who own MDMA pills get to determine their price. Melvin knows that soon he will have to pay any price to return the pills he borrowed.
Legend says, the price could go up to $10,000… as long as you exercise the same caution as Melvin: never get high on your own supply.
Lucky is a modern-day allegory; an epic juxtaposition of glitter and tragedy, told through the eyes of two women who are connected through the transcendental nature of time and space. The women are connected through the unlikely coincidences that make up our human experience.
Both have extremely unique perspectives on the world. That was, originally, what piqued my attention.
Lucky tells both women’s stories, as well as my own journey through history, philosophy, math, music and time.
One is the story of an unlikely heiress, who stole away with today’s equivalent of ~$2 billion and proceeded to burn it all, in an epic fulfillment of her familial proverb, ‘shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves.’
The other story begins with a young girl who just wants to make music and be loved. In a curious chain of events, she becomes an international superstar. Her rational outlook on the world, which in large part helped her rise to that level of success, ultimately is her downfall. She gets to the top, looks around, and wonders,”is this it? Is this really what all of that was for?”
Rationality can get in the way of good fun. Sometimes, when you mix rationality with a good story, it becomes impossible to unsee the truth.
Writing a book is a funny thing. Some days it seems like an impossible feat, like if I tried to run a marathon or ski Mt. Everest. At the end of the day though, a book is just a bunch of words. You string the words together and, suddenly, you have a story.
As a speech-language pathologist, I’ve always been fascinated by the way words work; their history, their deep meaning, and how they can be broken into smaller parts. A single word can help you understand invasions, migrations, and popular culture throughout time. A single word can teach you things that school books never would.
Words are little symbols that can help us puzzle together a rational view of the inexplicable things that makes us human. Without the right story teller, however, at the end of the day, words are just that.
Here’s a key lesson that I’ve learned this past year: a story is greater than its string of individual words. The whole has always been greater than the sum of its parts.
So to properly introduce my new endeavor, Logos Books, let’s start with a story.
Close your eyes and go back in time, to maybe mid-February 2020, pre-pandemic. Our story is set in a neighborhood bar, one of my old haunts on Division St., in Wicker Park, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.
Outside, the world is turning white. A flurry of snowflakes, no two alike, fall on late-comers, waiting in line outside of the bar. A giant black SUV, an Uber, pulls up to the curb, dirtying the fresh white carpet of snow.
You can’t see all of this from inside the bar, of course. The windows are frosted and cloudy. The heat, inside, is turned on high. Your coat, which had been hanging on the back of the bar stool, has fallen to the ground. You reach down to pick it up.
Minor characters mill about—a teetering 19-year old, trying to get past the security guard in front; the horny college girls hanging on the bar top, searching for a sense of belonging; the tired bartender with his eyes glued to the clock, yearning for 3am.
Paired Pathos, we’ll consider them to be intertwined as one character for purposes of this story, Cool Ethos, and Logical Logos are integral to any story. It’s fitting then, that they have leading roles in this one. Of course, there is another important character in today’s story—you.
You’re sitting alone at you favorite spot at the bar, a few stools away from the door, nursing a $13 hand-crafted cocktail. It’s happy hour. For the past five minutes, you’ve stared at the cup, pondering the perfectly spiraled lemon peel balancing on top of the golden liquid inside.
As if an answer to your dreams, Paired Pathos appears next to you; a giggling, shiny mirage.
You look at them and smile. Accepting your smile as an invitation, they begin to speak
“Let me tell you a story,” they say, in perfect, disturbing unison. They, then, begin to speak. Pathos’ goal? To convince you of something.
Pathos’ story might play at your heartstrings, invoke pity or outrage, or tickle your imagination. But whatever it is, it ignites a fire inside of you. It makes you feel something.
Still, you aren’t convinced. Your emotions can’t be explained. They are irrational. You make a deduction. Pathos must be irrational. They can’t be trusted.
You send Pathos away.
A few minutes later, Cool Ethos grabs the seat next to you at the bar. “Whiskey, on the rocks,” he tells the bar tender, with a million dollar grin.
You find yourself in a similar situation as the one before.
With Ethos, however, you start with a great sense of trust. You believe what he has to say from the get-go.
Ethos’ reputation proceeds him; his outside appearance matches the rumors. When Ethos begins to speak, you become even more impressed by how articulate he is.
But, as impressed as you are with Ethos’ street cred, you realize that his words are empty. You aren’t convinced.
You send Ethos away, too.
Finally, Logical Logos arrives. She begins to speak, in a clear, rational tone.
“I’m going to tell you a story, about an old man you may remember from math class or philosophy—Pythagoras of Samos.”
She continues, “…and yes, I’m talking about the same Pythagoras responsible for the Pythagorean theorem. Calculating the sides of a right triangle.
“Now, I must start with a warning.
“Do not believe everything I’m about to tell you. Some of it may be true, some might not. But always remember this: details are not what is important in a story.
“The story I’m about to tell you reads more like a riddle. It may seem silly, on the surface.
“The purpose of stories like these, however, are to help you understand some greater truths about yourself and the world around you. Anyways, let’s get to it.
“Pythagoras was an ancient philosopher, mathematician, educator, musician and astronomer. He was one of history’s main men of logic. His way of thinking lies at the foundation of the way modern humans, especially in Western cultures, think about the world.
“Pythagoras believed that “reality” is mathematical and that numbers have abstract, but significant, attributes that explain how our universe operates. Pythagoras is known for this quote, “all is number.”
“Keep in mind, Pythagoras lived long ago; a time when the world was largely thought of as flat and long before Boston Market began selling $3.14 pies on Pi Day… Every number was thought to be rational. Just like man.
“It was extremely important to Pythagoras that man is clear in his thinking. He was confident that reality was understandable to humans via reason. Through rationality, humans could find ultimate truth. Through rationality, humans could experience their optimal levels of well-being.
“Legend has it, Pythagoras was quite the clever philosopher. He never wrote his teachings down, but he went around telling people what he knew. He developed a group of followers. They called themselves the Pythagoreans.
“Pretty soon, however, a Pythagorean, named Hubble, made a horrible discovery.
“Hubble and some other Pythagoreans were sailing, out at sea, probably making idle chitchat about mathematics and the stars. Talk turned to the theorem.
“Hubble said, “You know, I’ve been thinking about Pythagoras’ theorem, late at night, while looking at the sky and I’ve identified something truly horrifying. When you take a look at the theorem backwards, you must take the square root of some numbers. Let’s use the number 2, for example. The square root of 2 is an incommensurable number. It isn’t whole. It isn’t rational. In fact, I’d say that the number that is computed is, in fact, irrational!”
“Excited murmurs flew about on the small boat. A consensus was reached. “You should tell Pythagoras about this!”
“The next week, Hubble took Pythagoras out to sea and told him his discovery. It was a sunny day and the water was blue. One the boat, was just the two of them.
Pythagoras quickly dispelled Hubble’s notion of irrationality. “Nonsense!” he cried.
“Then, according to legend, Hubble slipped off the boat and drowned.
As Logos finishes her story, despite the answers not being crystal clear, you realize that somewhere deep in your brain, her words are ones you already knew.
You decide to keep logos around.
Logos, pathos, and ethos have long been considered “the argument’s best friend.” Coined by Aristotle, these words describe three modes of persuasion that have been used to convince audiences across centuries.
For a more modern interpretation, I’d also argue that logos, pathos, and ethos explain how we story and interpret the world around us. A simple diagram is helpful here.
Now of course, most of the time, we don’t use any one of these methods in isolation. We constantly integrate emotions, logic, and surface-level perceptions, consciously or subconsciously, into the very essence of who we are and the way we think. Logos, pathos, and ethos are woven in the golden threads that make up our view of reality.
Over time, however, the idea of logos became understood in a way juxtaposed from Aristotle’s original meaning. Now, logos is synonymous with the idea of rationality. Rationality has facts and evidence to back it up. Rationality can be physically proven.
But here’s the thing, rationality itself is inherently irrational. Thus, it is irrational to believe that our perception of reality is the ultimate truth.
Let’s bring your attention back to me for a second; I’ve had many interesting and life-changing professional experiences since graduating from Rush University with my Masters of Science.
One of those experiences was under the instruction of Holly Shapiro, Ph.D., a real-life linguistics queen.
She developed a revolutionary method of teaching kids (from as early as kindergarten, and even those with dyslexia) how to read, using a “whole language approach” to learning. She taught me to truly discover words. Holly believes if someone truly understands a word’s structure, parts, uses through time, and history, they won’t misuse it and will always be able to read it.
Her methods are revolutionary to me, as I become more mindful of the shortcomings of my own perception of reality. So much of my reality is made of the language, the words, around me; language we’re taught, language we perceive, language we understand, and language we don’t.
So, to learn more about the idea of logos, I turned to etymonline.com, an online etymology dictionary. Etymology the study of the origin of words and the way their meanings have changed throughout time.
The word logos came from Ancient Greece. It connotes the same ideas as “word, speech, statement, discourse, computation, account, and reason.” It comes from a word used by the Proto-Indo Europeans (PIE), leg-, which meant, “to collect or gather;” with derivatives meaning “to speak,” or “pick out words.”
I hear something, like the voice of Aristotle, whispering softly in my ear. “Tell stories.”
Logos is far more than just the ability to make private feelings public. Logos makes it possible for humans to do what no other animal can. Logos conveys truth and wisdom. Logos helps us puzzle together a factual, more true, understanding of reality.
Logos is reasoned discourse about the correct order of the world. It is the collective “why” behind a meaningful life. Logos is anchored in the unknown, yet mysteriously gives us words to express the beauty of the human experience.
Logos, according to Dr. Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, is the idea that will transcend all truth.
He believes that Western civilization will die without rebirth of the logos. And he gives quite a convincing, rational argument. If you think about it, even our economic theories are described as tragedies. Why wouldn’t the story of Western civilization end in a tragedy?
Still—what is to be, hasn’t happened yet. I believe we have the power to write our own stories and control our own destinies.
The word logos, and the importance of it’s fundamental meaning, needs to be reimagined for the 21st century and beyond. Logos can be a new way of thinking about the most fundamental questions of human nature and the universe.
2020 was a year characterized by polarization, division, fake news, and overwhelmingly, collective tragedy. Despite this, I believe our logos has remained, buried; simply lost in metaphor.
If you look hard enough, logos can be found in art, music, drama, literature and tragedy. Logos can be found in the works of Bach, Leonardo Da’ Vinci, Salvador Dali, and Taylor Swift.
If we have the power to write our own stories, I choose to write this one.
“The year was 2021. It was impossible to know at the time, as it inevitably is when one is zoomed in and focused on the details, but human kind was on the cusp of a Renaissance.
This new-fangled age of Enlightenment was one in which logos helped them understand, in an articulate manner, the purpose of human kind in this infinite, irrational universe. It was the year that humans discovered the way to move forward, is through harmony and love.
Plato once said, “all learning is, is remembering something you already know.”
Logos leads us, as individuals, to a harmonious state of being that is no longer rife with contradictions. I believe the answers to our ultimate truths lie somewhere around there, as well.
Welcome to Logos! From my journey, this is what I give you:
Reality is the ocean, our laws are the ship.
Many have never left the ship, jumped into the sea.