Global Village was the name of a presentation that Ray Andersen presented to thousands of people in both large and small groups. It visually demonstrated realities of our world community, the amount of people who do not have potable water, the amount of people who have cell phones, who own cars, who die from starvation. It was after experiencing this presentation, myself and hundreds of others were inspired to ‘do something’ to ‘make a change’ to help humanity. We felt as ‘one’ with the others in the world. If nothing else, it made us realize that we are the lucky ones, not because we are special or smart or hard working. We were just born in the right place and time. Our brothers and sisters across the world are no better or worse than us. They were just born into less than preferable environments/communities.
The 10th anniversary of 911 revived a sense of unity, a remembrance that there is more to life than the price of gas or political fighting. We remembered to appreciate life. To appreciate PEOPLE - people who help other people. On September 11, 2001 the world community mourned with us and we felt as ‘one.’
August 8, 2011 Ray Andersen, founder of Interface Inc., passed away. He was one of our beacons to follow, to aspire to. At the age of sixty, he went back to Interface to steer it “on a new course – one designed to reduce our environmental footprint while increasing our profits”…(he) “wanted Interface, a company so oil-intensive you could think of it as an extension of the petrochemical industry, to be the first enterprise in history to become truly sustainable.”
Ray made a difference in the world. He made a difference in our environment. He reminded us that we are all on this earth together. He reminded us to appreciate life, to appreciate people, and to respect our environment. May we continue this quest.