For years and years I listened, studied, and observed some of the greatest intellectual and ethical leaders of post-WWII America. I not only learned from some of those great minds personally, but also kind of became chums with a handful of them. Yet despite their brains being infinitely bigger than mine (even after a Ginko tab), what I never got was a satisfying answer to this question: “OK, I’m hip to your moral arguments, historical acumen, and pragmatic definition of our systemic problems, but . . . NOW WHAT?”
In other words, as much as I dig, respect and bow down to all these big-brained cats, I reluctantly realized a better planet could not be pre-defined outside the theoretical. Even when a classic political or economic ideology was put forth, like communism, socialism, capitalism, Marxism, democracy, Republican, Democrat, Globalism, Free Market, I was still left with “Let’s be real, where has any of this gotten us—especially given our capabilities? SO NOW WHAT DO WE DO?!?!”
There comes a time in life when you have to look at yourself and come to terms with the fact that on the one hand you ain’t shit, but on the other, it’s a cop-out to give in to that modesty, whether it’s true or false.
So I had to get past myself and formulate an answer, one that would be an actual living, breathing mechanism whose very machination, whose very existence WAS the answer!
Remember the part above about immersing myself in all the studies? Here’s what I took after roughly 30 years of it: The vast majority of the planet’s problems/strife in both the past and present is due to economic factors. I’ll spare the reader a dissertation, other than to say that politics, nationalism, wars, terrorism, religion, etc. are all smokescreens created to rationalize something tangential to economic factors. I similarly believe that a culture and its people are NOT defined so much by the country’s actual theories, narratives, and rhetoric, but predominantly by how economics – domestically, internationally, geopolitically – are literally conducted on a day-to-day basis.
Thus, what I had to build to answer the “NOW WHAT?!” question had to be economically metaphorical. Additionally, it was imperative that what I built was designed to responsibly influence a culture to such an extent it supersedes any pre-definition heretofore associated with “business as usual,” and yet be profitable.
I concluded that this company’s primary value system should therefore start with “What’s best for Mother Nature?” This dawned on me when I realized how I am one VERY lucky person to have this brief existence. As such, it was only natural that I preserve this organic process for virtually everything else, including water, air, insects, and animals. Nothing is a greater responsibility. Just because I am human does not make me exceptional; on the contrary, it requires me to get over myself and act accordingly.
The game became “how do I apply all this jazz into an American business”? Fortunately, the great thing about the USA is that many of us still have the freedom to do lots and lots. Of course, to build my own business first required leaving my current gig. Luckily, I had a skillset and amazing clients to help jumpstart the business.
Nevertheless, I still had to use 100% of my own savings to begin answering the “NOW WHAT?” under the guise of ESA. While there have been just around a billion more righteous folks who sacrificed their lives, reputations, jobs (most of whom empower me daily), I think it’s important the reader know that I’ve literally sacrificed millions of dollars of income to answer this damn question! This is not to make me seem awesome, but it is to say that I’m willing to sacrifice my socioeconomic class and all the benefits that come with it, to passionately try and show WHAT IT WOULD LOOK LIKE. It also is to remind folks that if they want real change, they had best look to the everyday heroes of yesterday who selflessly brought us labor laws, civil rights, etc.
Sacrifice is always a requisite for positive change. I’ll again spare the reader precisely what we our company is doing everyday, although the “DNA of ESA” on our website describes some of it. But I will say that virtually everything we do is metaphorical to substantiate and prove exactly what I perhaps esoterically make reference to. Go ahead, ask me anything; I welcome it!
So yeah, the institutional make-up of ESA is like political theatre. It’s like “Exhibit A.” It’s like a petri dish. It’s like a microcosm. Whatever you want to call it, it is designed to take all that I’ve learned and prove what a society can become by simply applying a value system that starts with Mother Nature and ends with a dogma-free mindset to an economic construct.