It’s been a long time (about eleven hours) during Richard Banson’s Business Stripped Bare audiobook that we hit on the good stuff. There was a lot of tawdry bits about cassette singles in the 80’s being £1.84 and the tactics of BA against Virgin Airways, but finally in Chapter 7 hit on philanthropy, battling for a cause greater than yourself. To quote a Greek proverb, a society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they will never see. In this final chapter Branson talks of his real passions: battling climate change; meeting Melinda and Bill Gates; stopping AIDS; his friendship with Madiba, Nelson Mandela; and the start of The Elders, a group of extraordinary independent global leaders working together for peace and human rights. You can find out more about them here but to quote the ex-UN Secretary General Kofi Annan:
On the weekend I read the inspiring story of Anh Do, an Australian comedian that escaped from the atrocities of Vietnam along with most of his family thanks to the bravery of his parents. Throughout the book there is reference to a simply terrific quotation by his father, ‘there’s only two times in life, there’s now, and there’s too late.’ With climate change looking to disrupt our way of life, with politicians actively already disrupting it, perhaps V for Vendetta is becoming more appealing.
To credit Branson, he introduced me to this lovely tale from Loren C Eisely which is setting off fireworks of thoughts, making a difference no matter how small. Have an amazing week!
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a girl picking something up and gently throwing it into the ocean. Approaching the girl, he asked, “What are you doing?” The youth replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.” The man said, “don’t you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t make a difference!”
After listening politely, the girl bent down, picked up another starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then, smiling at the man, she said… “I made a difference for that one.”
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