Theodore Roosevelt Island National Memorial

Did you know there is a wooded island filled with wildflowers just inside Washington DC? Yesterday we pulled into an easy-to-miss little parking lot just off the George Washington Parkway next to the Potomac River. We walked – ok ran – across a little bridge and suddenly we were in a different world.

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A network of forest trails converge in a wide sunlit clearing surrounded by tall oaks. There in center of this island Teddy Roosevelt is memorialized by a larger than life statue flanked by giant marble tablets engraved with some of his most notable sayings.

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One saying grabbed my attention

“The nation behaves well when it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value.”

This resonates with my recent thinking and writing about what it would mean to engineer and perpetuate a truly wealthy world. Until now the achievement of individual wealth has been accepted as the highest measure of success. That definition of success does not take into consideration how one’s pursuit of individual wealth may have impacted the wealth of the planet. Instead of continuing to be content to perpetuate wealthy individuals, we have the opportunity to begin to learn and work toward a wealthy world. A more accurate definition of wealth is needed along with a revised definition of success. Those would be great starting points.

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