Friday, September 21, 2012

Chapter 1: continued

January 20th, 2013.   Henderson Francis West is inaugurated as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America.  This is still hard for me to write as it still seems so incredible to me as an individual, let alone as someone who has been characterized by others as the “greatest man alive”.  People magazine actually gave me that infamous title in 2018 much to my personal embarrassment.  A few of my more enthusiastic supporters have even characterized me as the “greatest man in the history of the world”.  Once again this is a completely incredulous depiction of me and one which is simply ridiculous.

I am of course flattered and equally appreciative of such extreme praise, but I still consider thoughts of this nature unequivocally strange.  I am, however, level-headed enough to see the origin of such claims.  For example, one achievement I will readily acknowledge that has had profound impact is my contribution to the overall health of the population of the planet.  I will admit freely and proudly that I have delivered a great deal in my time, and I am very receptive to the praise I receive in this area.  To me, my contribution in terms of world health is of the greatest significance.

Through my business successes, I have been able to provide to literally millions of people proper nutrition through the distribution of the universally recognized “NutrisHouse” brand.  The recipients have benefitted not only in receiving proper nutrition but also from receiving dignity, stability and an appropriate level of quality of life such that overall enhanced and peaceful living conditions became possible around the world.  In return, I have been fortunate to receive success and wealth far beyond what any single man should ever possess.  Most importantly to me though, through my wealth and success I had been offered a platform to exert influence and change for the betterment of society and this is truly the greatest reward in my life.

Some other people give me my greatest credit for my global contributions in terms of the numerous relief and charitable efforts that I have first-handedly developed and moved forward, not only in my own business world, but across the corporate and charitable landscape in general.  My efforts, in the humanitarian realm, have led to the expanded expectations of charitable organizations and even more influentially on corporations and how they operate.  Corporations were to become more tangibly involved and extremely influential wherever they conducted business rather than be merely fund-raisers, check writers or public relations opportunists.

From my perspective, my greatest contribution in the humanitarian area though was not so much in the area of physical, financial, medical or on-ground mobilization.  Rather, I take the greatest pride in being a catalyst for a new level of willingness to solve the world’s problems by private individuals and organizations in general.  Up until the year 2012, most people looked to government and charities to fulfill the humanitarian role.  I was able to leverage a truly caring mindset and attitude specifically of young Americans to spear-head a cultural shift where young citizens would actually go to parts of the world that required knowledge or relief efforts and give their time, education and muscle.  This mindset as it turned out was critical as well for these people in their employment as they strived to work with companies that reflected their spirit of generosity.

The result was that corporations came to realize that through legitimate on-ground humanitarian efforts locally and internationally, the value of their companies increased as their brand value increased.  The era of exploiting developing nations, leveraging humanitarian efforts for Public Relation improvement and profiteering as the world continued to decline was coming to an end.  I fortunately was able to show a new path that ultimately provided improved world standards and delivered increased corporate profits.

I feel comfortable in taking pleasure in the fact that my contribution in the humanitarian realm far exceeded the negatives and as a result, many of the world’s greatest inequities are being addressed, and a lot of them have been eradicated.  This is what I truly want my legacy to be though I know it will not.  I understand this though, as my efforts in restoring democratic values and instilling a contribution valuation mindset have had long-lasting profound effects on the world.

My greatest contribution in America was in terms of changing many of the institutions and fundamental thought processes so that we were able to move-forward in a ridiculously complicated and globalized world.  As I mentioned, in the early twenty-first century, most American institutions had become thoroughly inept at being able to even function let alone strive for effectiveness.  I figure that one can easily make the argument that I might never have even won the 2012 election, if the governmental processes were not as broken as they were at the time.  It was this extremely broken system that I completely despised that ultimately permitted me to win.  Life can be supremely ironic.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

ff21st -- Chapter 1 opening

Thinking back thirty years to January 20, 2013, I have to admit that I was a little disturbed and perhaps even terribly unhappy with my situation.  There I was, a self-appointed poster-child for disillusionment with almost all institutional aspects of America.  I had grown up at the end of the twentieth century and was pretty much willing to impugn any formal organization, public institution and quite likely most existing modern mindsets and “isms.”  I was hardly an anarchist though in any way, shape or form and I of course was a huge supporter of individual freedom, but there is no way I could have seen myself as part of the process at the time.  I had prided my personal success on being able to work-around process rather than immersing myself in it.

I also was an extremely successful businessman who had accumulated wealth well into the billions.  I can’t say I was disillusioned at all about that part of America as it had been simply a matter of hard-work, open-mindedness, a big chunk of fairness, a strong vision and of course a little bit of good luck and timing along the way.

I can honestly say that I was anti-government in most of its forms at the start of the twenty-first century.  In fact, one of the hallmarks of my business success had been the ability to manage governmental process and obstacles.  I had earned a reputation as someone who did not really listen to governmental authority and regulation if a greater good was being impeded.  I pretty much held government equally inept everywhere in the world.  The USA though at the time was the worst.

Government in the early twenty-first century, especially in the United States of America involved itself mostly in the pursuit of self-interest and party politics.  The Republican and Democratic parties basically just postured and opposed each other in order to undermine, disgrace and usurp the authority of whichever party, at the time, happened to have won the previous election.  To me, it was an absolute waste of time and energy that delivered virtually no benefit to the average American.  It was an elitist system that protected the interests of the party, business interests and the wealthy.  I had no interest in politics at the time and contributed no personal energy or corporate finances to it in the years leading up to 2013.

If you had, in fact, told me a year earlier, on my forty-second birthday in 2012, that I was going to be the next president, and that thirty years later my name would be synonymous with George Washington, Abraham Lincoln or Thomas Jefferson, I would certainly have thought you to be one of the dumbest people I had ever met.  There was no way in the world, that on March 31st, 2012, that I could have imagined myself as president less than one year later.

This is why I was genuinely angry in January 2013 as I was being sworn in as the forty-fifth President of the United States of America.  I can honestly say that in the moment I really did not want the role and was wondering how I had just ruined my life.