Our Founder's Ethical Will:
One teaching that I would like to pass on to the next generation is “Don’t shit in your own house.” It seems so simple, but for 200 years, mankind has been doing just that. We have one home and it’s amazingly beautiful and robust and supporting, and since the industrial revolution, we have been working very hard at killing it. Air and Water pollution, killing off of species, killing off the very land that sustains us—mankind seems hell bent on suicide. Not only have we shit in our own house but we are stewing in it. Just about all of the economic and political systems that we have developed have fostered our tendencies at self- destruction. Some people have profited from our self destruction and in many ways we are all addicted to it. Fossil Fuels were an amazing idea in the late 1800s, brought about a wholesale change in the way mankind lived in the 20th century and then some people figured out, using it would kill us. But economic models, convenience, lobbying, apathy all ruled and we are using and burning more than ever. Plastics seemed like a great idea in the 1960s, and then a not so good idea in the 70s and we figured out that it would be a big part of our demise by the 80s, but we were addicted. Its cheap and easy to make and very versatile and we can’t live without it.
So long as people and companies can profit from things harmful, so long as people and companies can deliver cheap products that, in their costing, do not have to take into account the long term costs of their production, pollution and destruction, mankind will remain addicted to these products and we are likely doomed as a species to be committing mass suicide. But there is hope and there are dreams of sanity. As a species, and so long as we have the economic and political systems that we have in place, we have to figure out a way for people and companies to pay for the long term consequences of their products and for people to profit from new ways of getting things done, of cleaning up the messes and of thinking up new ways for man to thrive without destroying his home. We need to reward companies that build things that nurture our world while they fulfill mankind’s needs.
I want to encourage the next generations to be on the side of life, of beauty, of creation. I want them to be creative in the ways they think about ending the system that rewards destruction and I want them to be creative in businesses and in politics and in their relationships and to thrive in a society that nurtures the earth while it sustains man: Reward for creation and not destruction.
“Love your family, Love your home”. Be a creative force for care and nurturing, in your personal and professional life. On a universal scale, I see this thinking as the only way to save mankind from itself. So, as man has profited from destruction, I think that the next generations can profit from creation, from nurturing and from a new kind of development. I hope to encourage those who come next to be at the forefront of change and, for those that choose business, that they can profit from it.
My grandparents emigrated from a land of poverty and abuse to a land of opportunity. Maybe for the next generation, emigration will not be from one geography to another, but from one way of relating to the world to another. I will leave behind a company that is run by my son, my nieces and nephews and then, I hope their next generations—a company that only invests in businesses that look to profit from creation, not destruction, from helping mankind to turn the corner and run away from its own destruction.
I will support organizations that share the same goals. I will gift to my family members with encouragement to them to get engaged, to love and to be part of this great transformation.