This I Believe

Shel - Hadley, Massachusetts
Entered on August 14, 2006
Age Group: 30 - 50

This I Believe: In the Goodness of People, and my Ability to Make A Difference

After Enron and WorldCom and ImClone and Parmalat and Mitsubishi and too many other business scandals to name…many people would call me foolish for continuing to believe that most people *want* to do good, and that the best businesses are run with integrity. And I also believe that I, as one small entrepreneur, can make a difference in the business world…can push the business community to publicly embrace ethics, and to make future Enron-type scandals as unthinkable a few years from now as slavery is today.

I have started a Business Ethics Pledge campaign. I believe that I and others can work together to create a tipping point, and shift society toward better business values (and more successful businesses). I believe moving this goal forward is part of why I was put here on this earth.

All my adult life, I’ve been involved in making the world better. I devote many hours to local, national, and international causes. I take strength from “impossible” social changes that really happened, in my own life and in the world at large. The “experts” never predicted the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of apartheid, the rise of world-wide consciousness about the environment, or other sweeping changes. The experts didn’t believe that the safe energy movement (of which I have been a part) could stop the juggernaut that would have brought us 1000 unsafe nuclear power plants in the U.S. by 2000. And the “experts” told me in 1999 that the movement I started to block a particularly nasty development on the side of a much-loved local mountain, directly abutting a beautiful mountain, could never succeed—yet, with thousands of people involved, it took only 13 months to preserve that land forever.

I *never* let anyone tell me that something is impossible. I’ve given myself 10 years to see if I can reach my goal of 25,000 signatures on the Business Ethics Pledge, and if that 25,000 is enough to create that tipping point and relegate crooked business to a footnote in the history books.

I hope you’ll join me in creating an ethical climate for business, by signing the Business Ethics Pledge at