This I Believe

Ely - New York, New York
Entered on January 20, 2007

“This I believe: Integration and Corporate Social Responsibility”

I believe in all the black and Hispanic kids at the basketball park calling me Steve Kerr. I believe in the prostitutes, both men, women, or some combination of the two conversing on the corner while I sit on my roof with my best friend discussing all the reasons he loves and hates being half Jewish, half Christian, and full himself. I joke that my Italian friend’s mom makes a magnificent plate of pasta. I joke that my Greek friend breaks plates at weddings. I joke my Cuban friend smuggles in cigars. I joke my Jamaican friend likes to smoke marijuana, and they joke that I own a cotton plantation down in Alabama. I know none of those things about my friends and myself are true, except that my Italian friend’s mom’s tortellini alfredo is out of this world because we were all joking about this at her dinner table the weekend we were all home from college and wanted to be with the ones we love. I believe in people. I believe in diversity in the sense that it is and should be simply life.

I believe in human nature. One of the most interesting things in life is that you can use people and they can use you. So I believe in being selfish. I believe in greed. There cannot be good with out bad but that is not en excuse not to do good. So be selfish and be greedy when the stakes are low and be selfless and caring when the stakes are high because I believe that if each individual has a net positive impact on life then we will all be better off. I believe positive impact is measured by how many people you directly and indirectly alleviate from suffering and allow to exercise free will. In today’s world, corporations hold the power and with power comes responsibility and leadership. Corporate Social Responsibility is the game of highest stakes. If business is going to rely on us and the land to support it, than business has the responsibility and interest to protect us and the land; all the stakeholders. I believe this concept would be easier to actualize if shareholders didn’t feel that our “us” was their “them”. I believe integration, diversity, in the all-encompassing meaning of the word, at its fullest potential, can help create that change. I believe that I grew up in an integrated community and I believe that I am a member of the next generation of top business leaders. I believe if we incorporate more integration, including knowledge of life in all parts of the world, into our daily lives and the lives of our children, then gradually we will see more positive impact from the leaders of our world. I believe I must take my own advice.