The founder and former CEO of Vanguard and creator of the first index fund, John C. Bogle opened Chapter 1 of “Enough” with this “wonderful old epigram from 19th-century Great Britain.”
“Some men wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called work.
“Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called trade.
“Some men wrest a living from those who wrest a living from nature and with their hands; this is called finance.”
Reading Bogle reminded me a bit of reading John Wooden – straightforward, practical, diligent, down to earth. That he opened a book about true measures of success with this old saying is inspiring – and it immediately conjured other recent reads.
To organize my own thoughts (initially captured in 20+ pages of handwritten notes) and to provide a necessarily pale representation of a truly wonderful event (like trying to capture a spectacular sunrise on a spectacular landscape with a photo), my 1-3-9-12 review …
“One of my biggest wishes is that we could figure out a way to live with the natural world instead of on top of it.”
– Songwriter Isaac Brock in the audio commentary on the Modest Mouse song Coyotes from their album Strangers to Ourselves.
I share his wish to realign people and nature.
Here: a personal go at his artful articulation of the issue.
I’ve not yet enjoyed a truly epiphanal moment with regard to beauty, gift, or purpose, but I’ve seen varied and fleeting glimpses in sustainability. At that intersection of people, nature, and business.
“I am going to change. I am going to leave everything behind. I’m going to burn my bridges. I’m going to follow my heart from now on, even if I have a price to pay. Of course, I was supported by my family and my wife. She said ‘yes, let’s do it, even if everybody tells us that nobody can make a living out of writing. But let’s take this risk, because otherwise, you can have everything, but you will be unhappy.'” – best-selling author Paulo Coelho to Krista Tippett, On Being