HELLO ESTONIA. TAKE A NAP
I do not want anything from the Estonian state. I work. All the time. I am starving. To achieve something. To get somewhere. Every day.
How deeply confused can an aspiring citizen of the Republic of Estonia get, when he hears the news that our economic growth in the second quarter is 0,6%? To tell you, just between us, we should not care less. Prime Minister Taavi Rõivas assures us that it is below expectations. But what are our expectations? Who are the ones that care? Whom do we consider as “us”?
A 300 year perspective – at least
We had dinner with a well-known lawyer at my home (I made dessert, the rest of the dinner was prepared by my wife, the restaurants did not get any money) and we were wondering, why so many company leaders see a very short perspective of their lives and businesses. When a company does not grow several times each year, it seems like something is wrong.
As people with the soul of entrepreneurs, we figured that in the western society the perspective should be at least 300 years, if not more. When there are years, or even decades, when the volume of assets decreases, regardless of continuous work, there is nothing wrong. It is vital to have a clear objective of sticking to the values and increasing them.
The late Duke of Westminster, Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor, who was Britain’s richest landlord, while speaking to an FT reporter in 2004, said to give the following advice to young entrepreneurs-to-be: “Make sure they have an ancestor who was a very close friend of William the Conqueror.” The Grosvenor Group owns the most expensive plots of land in London city center, around 300 acres in Mayfair and Belgravia, the most of which have belonged to the Grosvenor family since 1677.
I got inspired by Grosvenor’s idea in the sense that I should live my life with a 300-year perspective. This would enable my descendants to grab on to his idea. Does anyone think like this in Estonia? Not that I’ve noticed.
The land of wrong objectives or the lack of them
We sell the farmhouses of our fathers, because we need money for buying extremely expensive, but mediocre tiny new apartments. Or we have to pay existing debts. We travel to Australia in order to chill around for a year, because we are so tired of gaining education that we need a rest. We do not want to get married (young), because we have not had the chance to try out enough boys and girls. We do not want to do the dirty work because our hands get stained and our shirts sweaty. We run to the next position after the first job offer when someone promises to hire us for a few hundred euros more.
And then we wonder, why our social network has emerged in a wrong place, in Australia, for example. But it is useless, because all the people in the network are unemployed waiters and waitresses like ourselves. We are angry with the few people who for years have wholeheartedly tried to establish something and we are furious, when they actually succeed. We are incapable of concentrating and being humble, in order to await our time to come. We are incapable of changing our goals, but we repeat our rotten story about what saves us all (e.g. NATO and EU). But we hate guns and we hate the army – only a complete fool goes to the military reserve force training or to the Estonian Defence Forces’ exercise Spring Storm. During this year’s Spring Storm, General Riho Terras asked me, for how long did I come, and I replied: for the whole two weeks. He was surprised: “Who will do your work then?” Hello, Estonia. Take a nap.
The hungry ones live better than the greedy
Our economic growth is better than we deserve. Because in the economic growth we see the possibility to redistribute, consume and spend on wrong things (e.g. beach holidays abroad) and donate to the rich what they should actually be giving to the poor (180 million euros of parental benefits should be divided equally between all children, not given to the rich bunglers for paying their housing loans). Grosvenor, of course, was a distinguished philanthropist. Prosperity is meant for sharing. The poor are always greedier than the rich.
We do not want to build up Estonia for a single second longer than lasts our own life, which is painful, emotionally strained and exceptionally envious towards fellow citizens. Behind this kind of attitude are tens of percents of economic growth, which has a beautiful effect and charm, if we want to live a long life. Here. In the Republic of Estonia. Taking responsibility for not only our own family, but for the whole nation.
My three children know that I plan to live for at least 300 years, even if I die much earlier. I do not want anything from the Estonian state. No donations. I work. All the time. I am starving. To achieve something. To get somewhere. Every day. So that my great great great great grandchildren could say that their great great great great grandfather made sure to be a very close friend to William the Conqueror. The person with right role models becomes a role model himself over time. The same applies to the state.