Things I Believe

I first saw a “things I believe” list on Bob Sutton’s blog Work Matters. I liked the idea and I copied it from him — the idea, not the things he believes. These are things I believe.

  • The best things in life aren’t free, but they aren’t for sale either. You have to work for them.
  • Business ideas have no value.
  • Time is the scarcest resource.
  • You can only be one person at a time.
  • An authentic original is better than a good copy.
  • It’s the planning, not just the plan, that makes business planning work.
  • Truth reflects off mirrored surfaces and splits into specks, rays, and particles. William Blake wrote “anything possible to be believed is an image of truth” (in Proverbs of Heaven and Hell.)
  • Writing skills, even — unfashionable as this may be — spelling and grammar, matter.
  • Good writing is always easy to read.
  • There are problems you can make worse, but not better.
  • Successful business planning is nine parts implementation for every one part strategy.
  • Angry words are not always biodegradable.
  • Diversity is good for business.
  • I oppose racism, sexism, xenophobia, and homophobia.

In the wake of political/social upheaval in 2020, I feel compelled to add:

  • My support for the #blacklivesmatter movement. I believe that its cause is just and justified.
  • The truth in the phrase white silence is violence.
  • That denying racism is also racism.
  • That nonviolent protesters by the tens of thousands are not responsible for the violence of a few. Looters and rioters are a hodgepodge of different people who turn violent for different reasons. Some are leftists, some are anarchists, some are right-wing extremists intending to undermine a just cause and weaken the effect of nonviolent protests.
  • I acknowledge that I’ve enjoyed white mail privilege all my life. But I also marched on the streets in the 1960s to oppose racism. And I taught my children to oppose racism in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. And now they are teaching their children to oppose racism.

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