Judy Wicks “the Survival Manual”
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Analysis Paper #2
Approach to Business
Judy Wicks memoir, or what she calls “the survival manual,” Good Morning, Beautiful Business, is about the evolution of an entrepreneur who would not only change what’s going on in her own neighborhood, but uncovers an individual who would also change the world around her by aiding communities nationwide. Judy aspires to create local living economies that value people, nature, and place more than money. She claims that “when you connect head and heart in business, you can transform not just business as usual, but the economy in general (Wicks, 113).” Judy Wicks demonstrates how building a compassionate, locally sourced economy can be one of the most satisfying, meaningful, and loving human interactions.
Every morning, Judy would read the quote “Good Morning, Beautiful Business,” retelling her daily of just how beautiful business can be when we put our creativity, care, and energy into producing a product or service that our community needs (Wicks, 112). The quote allowed Judy to reflect on her own business, and how the farmers were already out in the fields harvesting fresh organic fruits and vegetables to bring into the restaurant that day. Wicks asserts, “Business, I learned, is about relationships. Money is simply a tool. What matters most are the relationships with everyone we buy from, sell to, and work with—and our relationship with Earth itself. My business was the way I expressed my love of life, and that’s what made it a thing of beauty (Wicks, 124).”
Unfortunately, most communities around the world arent as beautiful as the one built around Judy’s “White Dog Cafe,” located on Sansom Street, Philadelphia. As a reminder, Judy vividly recalls a news article with a photo of a little girl and how vulnerable she looked in a tattered pink dress, standing on a garbage dump in Haiti, searching for food. The article neglected to mention whatsoever about the failure of the industrial global food system itself. Throughout Wicks’ life, she had become familiar with how a community can strive through self-reliance. She claims, “We would need to change our failed economic system from one dominated by transnational corporations to one based on local self-reliance (Wicks, 133).”
Judy was moved by the concept that building strong local economies, rather than relying on transnational ones, could empower communities to meet the basic needs of all their people. In response, Judy said “Ultimately, building local food, water, and energy security provides the foundation for lasting world peace (Wicks, 138).” With local self-reliance, Judy imagines a future where the little girl in the pink dress is in a different photograph, one in which she’s smiling over an abundant meal of organic, locally grown food, seated along with the rest of the world’s happy people.
Additionally, through local self-reliance, we eliminate the transnationals who claim we need their mono-crops, fossil-fuel-based pesticides and fertilizers, genetically modified seeds, cruel animal factories, and long-distance transport. With Judys survival manual, entrepreneurs, as well as consumers, can follow both mind and heart, cultivate lasting relationships with each other and the planet, and build a new compassionate economy that will bring us greater security, as well as happiness.
Judy grew up familiar with a society based on self-reliance. She understands its not impossible to return to that state. She had witnessed the change happen right in front of her own eyes. Over a ten month period, Judy witnessed the disintegration of a culturally beautiful, environmentally sustainable Eskimo village in Chefornak, Alaska that had lasted for thousands of years. When she arrived, Chefornak villagers valued the people, nature and place more than money. The Eskimos once believed in the abundance of the universe and that there is enough for all if we are willing to share.
When Judy and Dick arrived in the village only two families had snowmobiles, while the other eighteen families used dogsleds. Close to a year later, only one family still had a dogsled, and the rest were now dependent on gasoline-driven snowmobiles (Wicks, 597). Over the course of ten months, Judy watched a sustainable economy turn into a wasteful, consumer-based one. In the blink of an eye, the village became dependent on gasoline, rubber boots and coats from the Sears catalogs. The western culture had come to Chefornak right before Wicks’ eyes. The feelings of competition and envy, that were once virtually unknown, became more common throughout the village.
Judy believed, “They had a sense of their place in the world and in the web of life, based on who they were, not what they had. Their happiness and security did not depend on money and material possessions, but on community and their relationship with the land and knowledge of nature (Wicks, 646).” Despite great hardships, there had been joyfulness among the Eskimos, lost to so many of us. They understood it was a delight in simply being alive on this beautiful planet. Through this experience, Judy learned that a sustainable economy could be based on sharing and cooperation rather than on competition and hoarding. Living in a culture consumed by the belief in knowledge all life is spiritually and environmentally interconnected helped Judy recognize and articulate this belief, and finally making it the foundation for her approach to business.
In Good Morning, Beautiful Business, Judy demonstrated several instances of her business responsibilities for the stakeholders in her community. She helped benefit the consumers as stakeholders by providing them with the only restaurant that serves fresh local produce from local farms and not driven for hundreds of miles, where it essentially loses its value. Wicks provided the consumers with a compassionate and caring, cruelty-free menu. All meat products were raised on pastures and each animal was treated with respect and compassion.
When viewing community as a stakeholder, Judy started “Black Cat,” a retail store, providing the community with socially responsible products to express her evolving social consciousness. She also expressed her business responsibility by joining the Sansom Committee to help save her newfound community after hearing about the