Money or Value?

By Godard Croon,
on 30 March 2021

My father-in-law passed away recently. I have lost my great source of inspiration. He was a headstrong, energetic and adventurous man with wonderful stories and a great deal of admiration for everything around him. Newspaper articles appeared about him, because he knew many people (he was a phenomenon in The Hague and around the world). One of those articles opened with the words ‘Hans Wiesman is the kind of man whom everyone is either in love with or jealous of.’ This does not mean jealous of his possessions, but of his attitude to life and what he radiates. You’ve done something right if that’s what is written about you.

Because of this loss, I now regularly ask myself what I want to have left behind when my time has come. My answer is quite clear: I want to be a source of inspiration for others and show that things can be done differently. And preferably, I also want to have a lasting impact on the earth and our system.

We are busy working on the latter at Copper8. How do we change our crooked and unhealthy system, in which money and power are so often pursued as goals? On our last team outing, we sat on the green grass at the Kaag, with the sun and wind in our faces, completely Corona-proof and very good to be together again! In the background we could see the warehouse of one of the world’s largest shipyards for private yachts, and a 94-meter yacht under construction in the water. It costs about €1.5 million per meter of length to build a yacht; add up the investment…

What kind of people are attracted to having a yacht like that (or a car, a house, you name it)? Are they real friends, who talk to you about the essence of life and who support you in tough times? Would the owner proudly tell you on his deathbed that he owned a €150 million boat? Would that help him in his next ‘cycle’? Did it benefit the world? Sure, it created some employment, but couldn’t those same hands have made something more beautiful, something more people could enjoy?

For me, money is often an obstacle to experiencing value. Value mainly lies in how you experience something, how you share it and what positive effect it has on others. That is what value means to me. When you put your heart and soul into something, it has lasting and infectious value. And that’s how you leave the world, with people being in love or jealous.

 

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