We find ourselves together in a time like no other. Our challenges, if shared, become opportunities, but only if we recognize them as such and take action. This is your invitation to be part of a better world.

The systems we’ve inherited are broken. We’ve learned to favor glamour over wellbeing. Global hockey-stick-growth startups have disrupted our bodies, our streets, and our nations. Forests retreat, their protectors silenced. Pipelines advance, their cartels declared essential workers. Illness, once a symptom of the individual now presents in a global society. Our ability to react or self govern has been eroded by flagrant corruption. The best lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity. We learn that no one is immune.

It’s time to act. We’re in it together and for a longer term than most of us realize. Our big brother, while doing his best to come to the rescue is neither adequately equipped nor appropriately intentioned to respond to the disruption at hand. The ink on money doesn’t dry that fast and the interest will be staggering.

Leaseholders: You’re not sure how you will afford this. You signed your lease in a different world than the one we’re in today. 

  • Let’s do what we can. Pay what we can.
  • Talk to the landowners, come to arrangements. Offer to make improvements. Render professional services in exchange.
  • Be honest. It’s tempting to use the current situation as an excuse to break our agreements. Doing so will not serve anyone in the long run. Let us maintain our reputations, credibility and the quality of the neighborhoods we want to live in.

Landowners: We’re not sure how to maintain cashflow with leaseholders canceling their promises. We have long-standing agreements with banks and cities on how we run the business. Utility bills and repair costs are rising up while everyone is at home. 

  • Let’s get generous. Discount what we can afford. Ask our leaseholders to help make improvements.
  • Give rent adjustments in advance (not loans, but genuine discounts). The gifts we make now will ward off rent strikes and allow for cooperation when the leases come to term and there are no new applicants for the spaces.
  • Negotiate now on tax, utility, and service agreements so that we have some flexibility and savings. Let’s not wait for the market to dictate the value, the ball is in our court, with our cities, utilities, and contracts.
  • Be honest. It’s tempting to use the current situation as an excuse to call in our agreements, fall back on paperwork as an inhumane moral shelter. Let’s maintain our neighborhoods and property values by investing in them while we still can. 

If we stand by and defer our own individual personal rights and responsibilities to our governments or threadbare safety nets, we miss out on a vital opportunity to live our values and invest in better, more connected futures. A new operating system is beckoning. I invite you to face the challenge and benefit from the opportunity.

open hand-typed letter to leaseholders and landowners

This letter was mailed to leaseholders and landowners around the Boston area and beyond. Part of the Gentlemen of Chance typewriter experiment.