"Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing
because he could only do a little."
Edmund Burke, 18th Century
At Inn Serendipity, we believe that businesses--small and large alike--can collectively make the world a better place. As social entrepreneurs, we measure wealth not only by dollars and cents, but by the health of the land, the community and the planet. We view ourselves as bioneers [biological pioneers] on a journey toward a more sustainable, peaceful and just tomorrow, leading in both actions and words through the projects we support or help create.
We strive to be net producers of: energy; creative and artistic beauty; food; a soil that is alive with life; clean water and air; and healthy human and biological communities. We also refuse to separate our personal ethics from our business ethics, since the two are--and should be--intertwined. We ask more questions than we have answers. We are constantly in awe of nature and the miracle of life--all life, not just human life.
Our Business Plan
We're mindfully designing business by considering our effects on the Seventh Generation. We are like the rest of life on Earth: We need food, water, shelter and a life-supporting community that makes up our habitat. Our business is therefore an embodiment of our values where right livelihood becomes the truth we seek in how we operate our business. We strive to build long-lasting community relationships which ultimately contribute to stronger social, ecological and economic ties, and provide us with a sense of place.
Recognizing both interdependence of all life pursuits as well as our interest in becoming more self-reliant, we're pursuing our purpose by focusing on three core areas noted below. Each of these areas are inexorably linked to each other to create a more sustainable whole by its very design.
(1) Our Product & the Environment
Provide restful accommodations and new experiences in a setting that demonstrates, inspires, and restores our perspective of the world in which we live and connects us to our land and our food. We recognize that we are a part of, not apart from, nature. Therefore, we strive to become better stewards of the land and caretakers of humanity. In the end, we are temporal custodians of the land and must constantly work toward leaving it better than we found it. We also hope to foster a social environment of interaction, play, reflection and intellectual discourse. Finally, our health begins with our food and the environment in which we live. Wholesome fresh vegetables, herbs, and fruits, primarily grown locally and organically, make up the core ingredients for all the meals we serve. We strive to operate under the ideals of sustainability, self-sufficiency, community-based economics and environmental responsibility.
(2) Equity & Social Justice
We've found both a local community in which we share our multicolored eggs and interesting stories, and a global one, where people from around the world join us on the farm or utilize our website for ideas and informational exchange as they join us on a similar journey. Indeed, we are graced by our neighbors, community and individuals around the world who have helped us in reaching our dreams. In short, we strive to actively contribute to the quality of life for all the communities touched by the Inn's operations, from Bed & Breakfast guests to those who grow the coffee beans we use for our morning brew. Life is built on interactions and meaningful relationships. Kindred spirits have joined us to walk the labyrinth, plant sunflower seeds or sketch under the willow tree.
Strive toward fair profits, without sacrifice to environment or to the stakeholders. Stakeholders are not merely the owners, but all who are impacted by the operations, both in the short-term and long-term. Among Inn Serendipity's stakeholders are our neighbors, our ecosystem, children of all sizes, cultures and economic means, and butterflies. Generate interest in, evaluate and demonstrate how such an operation can lead to long-term sustainability and self-sufficiency. We have long recognized the spirit inherent in everything we do. It is this spirit that causes us to think, when faced with economic decisions, to consider Aldo Leopold's criteria: "A thing is right if it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it does otherwise."
Crisis of Perceptions & the 7th Monkey
Contrary to common perception, humankind will always remain beholden to the same forces and laws that govern nature. Therefore, we have chosen a path that models nature in its diversity and abundance, artistically crafting our livelihood while enjoying life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To accomplish this, we've adopted a systems approach to living that recognizes our relationship to:
In the end, we are judged by our legacy, perhaps best symbolized by Thomas Jefferson's tombstone which does not reflect his titles (President of the U.S.A.; Governor of Virginia) but rather those things that he had given people, the nation, the planet (most notable, the Declaration of Independence).
Our goals are to plant more trees than we've used, help cultivate a bioregional and sustainable food system that is more secure for us and our community, completely off-set our carbon dioxide emissions (the largest contributor to global warming), live a fossil-fuel-free life, and feed the flames of our imagination. Humankind already has all the technology, resources, tools, and intellect to accomplish the changes needed. The clock is ticking and GNP growing while the rain forests disappear, children (and adults) starve in larger numbers, animals go extinct, open space becomes strip malls, and water becomes unpotable. Do, we must. There is no try.