jusummerhayes (jusummerhayes) wrote,

The business of business - part II

“Do unto those downstream as you would have those upstream do unto you.” Wendell Berry

I woke and wrote my morning pages and read a few more pages of Steven Pinker's wonderful book, A Sense of Style. I've not turned my computer on this whole week (not including Sunday). It feels much better -- dare I say I feel brighter. Try it. Try not looking at your (bloody) phone or computer for the first few hours of the day save in an emergency.

OK, so I went off piste yesterday (for LJ) to talk shop. It didn't register much of a flicker but then again I don't write for the babes -- as a certain Mr Pressfield talks about in his book, The War of Art . I write because I write. If you like it, great; if you think it sucks, again great. I'm indifferent -- no seriously. As I've said many times, the act of writing does more for the writer than it does (at least for me) than the reader. In any event, there's way too many 'published' writers who live in a false-consensus world where they think they're successful by dint of book sales but in the non-fiction world I principally occupy, the true mark of 'success' (oh, how I hate that word) is change, i.e. people walking their talk (not yours -- that's sycophancy).

I'll tell you where I'm at today. Mother Earth. Or to be a little less languid, I'm asking everyone who's in business to consider how they can continue to ply Old School thinking when they're eating the planet alive and killing us in the process. Think about it. Do we think that consumerism is free? Do we think we can go on behaving this way without consequences? But most worryingly of all, do we think it acceptable to leave the planet in a worse state than when we came into the world? Assuming we live for 80 years, I can guarantee that it will be even more frayed at the edges than when your parents had the joy of its splendour and abundance.

But of course, given our species, we close our eyes and pretend nothing's wrong. Now that really does make us look stupid. In fact, only yesterday there was yet another pronouncement that our love affair with diesel cars was about to be dealt a low blow by dint of the previously unknown high(er) levels of pollution. I think the idea is to tax diesel cars off the road. (I'm not a conspiracy theorist bloke, but you'd think by now that someone of notoriety -- not Arnie -- would say that pouring pollution into the air we breathe looks a bit like putting our mouths over a belching chimney and hoping for the best! But better still, we'd tell the oil industry that there gloop we've all become addicted to is best left in the ground whilst we get out s*** together -- we've got a lot of that stuff to sort out both on the environmental and egoic front.)

If this seems a little demonic, I don't much care. Actually, that's a big fat lie. I do care but not for me and my generation but for my kids and theirs. In fact, I half expect, if I am buried, for one of them to come knocking and say: "Dad I want a word with you for making such a mess of the planet". What do you say then? Not much. Except, "I'm sorry".

Enough for now and sorry for the further push on business stuff, but as I discovered today when looking up the number of people employed in SMEs (it's a bloody big number), we all of us ought to be damned concerned about the deleterious affect of our conduct.

Until tomorrow now.


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