Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
I've been searching for uplift amid the chaos.
As businesses struggle -- some say 50 percent of all America's small businesses will close in the next two weeks -- hope fights with despair.
Yet some small businesspeople still find the time to stop and try to do good. One or two have very personal reasons for doing it.
Chris Boyes is the landlord of a Toronto apartment building. Some of his tenants came to him, worried that they wouldn't be able to pay this month's rent.
His reaction wasn't to shrug his shoulders. Instead, he wrote all of his tenants a note, one that swiftly made its way around Twitter.
It read, in part:
I would like to relieve some stress off your backs and let you know that you don't have to worry about rent for the foreseeable future. I will give 30 days notice once we resume rent payments, but that won't be for a while.
This seemed like extraordinary generosity. Yet Boyes wasn't done. He added:
PLEASE, if you are financially struggling and are in need of ANYTHING essential, groceries, medicine, you name it, please text me back or email.
Boyes said he didn't want to be paid for these things. He added that even if tenants had the money to pay rent, they should keep it. He didn't want any of them to be struggling.
The first instinct of many will be that Boyes can clearly afford it. He might be a small businessman, but he also still has a full-time job.
Yet there are plenty of businesspeople who may not be so generous. Indeed, I know of at least one instance where a restaurant server, currently without a job, was told by their landlord that, if they didn't pay immediately, they'd have to provide three months of bank statements. Or else.
So I was moved by Boyes' explanation for his stance. It wasn't just that he realized others were suffering.
When I ended up losing my job, (my landlord) completely waived my rent payment for the couple months I had no income for. I am now in a fortunate position to do so.
In the blind quest for money, some people may forget their own difficult past experiences and how others helped them.
Then again, Boyes isn't alone. Mario Salerno, a Brooklyn landlord who has 18 apartment buildings, has waived rent for the whole of April because he doesn't want tenants to stress.
If it's possible to show generosity now, there's more than one business advantage. Not only are you likely to have more consistent tenants, but whole communities may benefit from that consistency. And even the smallest businesspeople are a part of a greater community.
The strongest motivation, though, is the sheer humanity of the gesture.
When all this is over, many things will change. Many people, too.
And memories will be long.