Thursday, February 18, 2010

Bob's Red Mill Owner Gives Away Company

This man knows what it means to be a Christian.  (You'll have no idea what I'm talking about unless you read that link. :o)

And, lest you think I'm anti-freedom, let me explain.

The Law of Moses, which for most of my life I just thought to be a bunch of nanny-laws and mindless restrictions (such as detailing the number of steps you can go on the Sabbath, unless it's to retrieve something you've lost or dropped), is in actuality a body of laws teaching only one thing: lovingly care for one another (a.k.a. no greediness allowed!).  A prime example:  

"In passing through any field or vineyard in Israel, anyone was free to take what he needed if he was hungry (as the Lord and the apostles did; Mark 2:23); if the owner denied him that, he was breaking the law; if the person took more than he needed for lunch, then he was breaking the law–it was still manna (Deuteronomy 23:24–25). When gathering harvest, said the law, never go back to make sure that you have taken all the olives, grapes, or grain of your farm to the barn or to the press. That may be sound business practice, but the Lord forbids it. Some of it must always be left for those who might need it. From the wine and olive presses we get the word "extortion," meaning to squeeze out the last drop, another way to make a margin of profit–putting the squeeze on, wringing out the last drop. The Latter–day Saints, like the ancient Israelites, are to accept God's gifts gratefully and not "by extortion" (D&C 59:20)."

(Quoted from an awesome resource for understanding this concept further. Hit "Page Down" four times to "Moses Distributes the Lunch".  Quote is the 11th paragraph of that section.)

In our highly-industrialized modern world, it is more difficult to do this, as money is such a touchy subject and a highly corruptible thing.  It's a lot harder to turn a loaf of bread or a home-cooked dinner into a pint of whiskey or a joint of marijuana than it is to turn money into such a thing.  But I think that Bob Moore has the story straight.  His original plan was to retire to Oregon a couple decades ago and learn to read the Bible in its original languages . . . but I think that he has done far more good in the world by listening to the desire born in him and building Bob's Red Mill into what it is today.  Now, the employees not only have a way to feed their families as the years go by, but have a guaranteed retirement plan when they're done working, essentially being bought out when they retire.  I think that's tremendous.  And Bob's got a good few years left in him to help them transition and to see that his plans are executed in the spirit in which they were given. :o)

Good job, Bob.  The world needs more men like you.