COMPROMISE, YUGEN & PROFITS

Childhood Poverty, working together actually WORKS

If you’ve read my blog in the past or are familiar with the Freadom brand, my hope is that you feel messaging which is positive, encourages hope and inspires you to do more on behalf of others.

“Choosing UNITY” is one such message.

Let me be clear, we don’t say, let’s all act and think the same way.

What we mean is, let’s work together towards a common goal, a common good, leveraging our differences, uniqueness and perspective for the good of ALL.

I don’t know, maybe compromise from time to time?

Seems to be a “novel” idea these days, right?

Compromise is healthy AND works!

But don’t just take my word for it.

A recent New York Times article just reported some very GOOD NEWS.

That’s right, good news, can you believe it?

Well, here it is, child poverty in the US has fallen by more than half since the early 90’s.

Which political party is responsible, gets the credit?

NEITHER!

According to the article, the 1996 welfare law is a wonderful example of different political ideologies combining to produce a result which was better than either side could have produced on its own.

CHOOSE UNITY.

 

WOTW

I’ve actually been searching for this word my entire life.

It’s been “found,” but I didn’t discover it.

Like many other beautiful things, it is my wife, Christy, who taught me about this beautiful word.

It’s yugen. Huh? What?

Sounds like a spice, maybe a religious ideology. Or maybe a different type of yoga?

Nope.

Yugen is an important concept in traditional Japanese aesthetics, “an awareness of the Universe that triggers emotional responses too deep and powerful for words.” Amazing, a word which transcends words.

“To watch the sun sink behind a flower clad hill. To wander on in a huge forest without thought of return. To stand upon the shore and gaze after a boat that disappears behind distant islands. To contemplate the flight of wild geese seen a lost among the clouds…” – Zeami Motokiyo

Makes me think of the word wonder, but in a deeper, more spiritual way.

 

Now THAT’S putting your money, where your mouth is…

I’ve always been a fan of the Patagonia brand – their product, their story, their look, their vibe, their name.

But admittedly, I’ve also been a bit of a critic of their impact messaging.

“We’re taxing ourselves – Patagonia’s self-imposed Earth tax, 1% for the Planet, provides support to environmental nonprofits working to defend our air, land and water around the globe.”

Patagonia’s annual revenue is reported to be $209.1M.

Since 1985, they have pledged 1% of sales to preserve and restore the natural environment.

So, 1% would mean about $2,000,000 annually.

I don’t know, 1% just always seemed a little weak to me, for a brand so strong.

Not to mention a company so vocal and visible around environmental issues.

Until last week.

Last week, Patagonia announced that its founder, Yvon Chouinard, and his family are giving away their ownership in the company.

With this development, the company will now be donating the majority of the company’s profits, which is expected to be about $100 million a year.

I criticize no more.

Maybe that was the plan all along and if so, my criticism was unfounded or ill-informed.

Coincidentally, it’s our goal here at Freadom to reinvest all our profit with the hope of directing $100 million dollars of it to literacy annually.

Patagonia has one shareholder, the earth.

Freadom has one shareholder, Literacy for All in America.

Ok, obviously, we’ve got major work to do to get to $100 MM, so it’s time to stop writing.

But I believe, and will never stop believing, we CAN do it.

If it can be done once, it can be done TWICE!


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