Curated Leadership for Today's World

occupy your own street

Posted on 25 October 2011

idiot-funny-protest-signsEverything man has ever thought of or laid a finger on is corrupt. It’s just a reflection of our nature. And I’m sorry Star Trek: The Next Generation, I love you but we are not evolving to a higher social consciousness where everyone, regardless of gender, is called “Sir”. The laws of human nature just aren’t set up like that. Every company, organization, or bureaucracy I’ve ever worked for had illegal, immoral or unethical elements. That’s because they are made up of people and absolute power corrupts absolutely. That never stopped me from doing my best and working in all different kinds of industries where I learned a great deal. When they got to a point where I felt I could no longer give my 110% support due to some kind of ethical, financial, or legal lapse I witnessed, I left.

A great many people are fuming about the lack of work. Growing up in my house, the lack of a job was never any excuse not to work. In his Key to Excellence speech, Charlie “Tremendous” Jones had this to say: “You say, “What if I don’t have a job?” You work anyway. You say you can’t work without a job. Don’t you tell me that!  My father raised five of us in the depression with no mother years ago when there was no work. He worked. And you know you can’t live without breathing. Well, you can’t live right without working. It’s life. Work.”

I’m an independent publisher who’s made the business decision to partner with other small businesses worldwide and give all profits away as part of our Foundation. They go to scholarships, homeless shelters and missions groups. That’s just how I do it because that’s where our convictions lie, not because someone protested that I do so. And I don’t concern myself with other business owners who don’t see things through my philanthropic-colored glasses. It’s their business, their life, their conscience, and even if I could prove them “wrong” in some way, what good does that do?

Norman Vincent Peale said it best: “Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that.” And of course I wouldn’t be worth a hill of beans unless I recommended two books that illustrate that giving something to someone for free condemns them to a life of insatiable want. 8 Attributes of Great Achievers , by Cameron C. Taylor, has an amazing chapter on wealth and whether it can be created or if there is a finite amount which must constantly be redistributed. And then there’s our best seller, “The Ultimate Gift”, where a poor man works tirelessly to gain tremendous wealth, bestows it all freely on his family, and ruins them in the process.

I found an old book published in 1914 on my father’s bookshelf the other week by Maurice Switzer titled, “Letters of a Self-Made Failure.” The opening illustration shows a man at a deli counter with the inscription, “You can take it from me that a ham sandwich paid for out of your hard-earned cash is a lot more enjoyable than a free ten-course banquet at the swellest hotel in town.”  So quit stressing about who did what to whom and focus on yourself. Corruption is a fact of life; all you can do is make sure you refuse to be any part of it and that your own street is spic-and-span and accessible to all.

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