The Griessman Diversity Creed for small business

Many times in this space I have the pleasure of quoting smart people who have said something that I want you to hear. Eugene Griessman is such a person, and a long-time friend and member of my Brain Trust. Gene’s thoughts are oft quoted, but one piece he wrote caught on so much that, for almost 10 years, it continues to pop up around the globe. It’s called The Diversity Creed, and with all of the intolerance in the world right now, I thought you would appreciate this piece of Griessman wisdom, and I offer it with Gene’s permission.

Gene Griessman ©1993

I believe that diversity is a part of the natural order of things - as natural as the trillion shapes and shades of the flowers of spring or the leaves of autumn. I believe that diversity brings new solutions to an ever-changing environment, and that sameness is not only uninteresting, but limiting.

To deny diversity is to deny life - with all its richness and manifold opportunities. Thus, I affirm my citizenship in a world of diversity, and with it the responsibility to…

Be tolerant. Live and let live. Understand that those who cause no harm should not be feared, ridiculed, or harmed - even if they are different.

Look for the best in others.

Be just in my dealings with poor and rich, weak and strong, and whenever possible, to defend the young, the old, the frail, the defenseless.

Avoid needless conflicts and diversions, but be always willing to change for the better that which can be changed.

Seek knowledge in order to know what can be changed, as well as what cannot be changed.

Forge alliances with others who love liberty and justice.

Be kin, remembering how fragile the human spirit is.

Live the examined life, subjecting my motives and actions to the scrutiny of mind and heart so to rise above prejudice and hatred.

Care. Be generous in thought, word, and purse.

This is Jim again…great words and wisdom from a great man. Gene Griessman is not only a very smart man, but he’s also an Abraham Lincoln scholar and one of the top Lincoln portrayers in the world. He was on my radio show, The Small Business Advocate, recently to talk about Lincoln’s thoughts on leadership. Please take a few minutes to listen, and, as always, leave your thoughts. Listen Live! Download, Too!

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