Reinke insists his decision not to pursue a relationship reflects a simple role shift. “I was much more focused on being a husband and a father,” Reinke explains. “His redemption was going to happen without me because there wasn’t a place for him in my life. The relationship would have been more for him than for me and that would have been the wrong reason to have a relationship.”
Reinke credits the unconditional love and support of his mother for coming out of a painful childhood experience with strength and peace. Now Reinke, who is a vice president for FULLBEAUTY brands, a big and tall men’s clothing line, shows that strength and love to his nine- and 11-year-old.
Reinke’s Portrait Project is something he visits every couple of years. “It’s inspiring for me to read it, like a working, living doctrine and a way to try to live my life,” he says.
A SHIFT OF BUSINESS IDEALS
Doug Raymond has also led a life in congruence to the wild and precious one he wrote about in 2002. However, a shift has happened with Raymond’s view on business. Raymond mused of traveling to China and taking risks and starting a business. Shortly after writing those words, Raymond was in China starting a business. Soon after that, his business failed. “Going to China was a big pivot, I was the sole founder of my company and was in China so it made it difficult,” Raymond says.
Raymond founded Julu Mobile, a Shanghai-based mobile advertising technology company. “I grew a lot from trying to convince people to join my company in a different country. It was a huge success and not a total failure. It’s when I started to confront personal issues. It’s when I started thinking outside of what my ego wants. I started thinking about using my heart more in business and how do I make decisions based on other people.”
And now Raymond’s business and life mission has been to set aside the ego and pursue a life of connection with others. “Having something in common with others seems more important than the skill set they provide,” says Raymond, who is working as an investor, advisor, and entrepreneur. “Early in my career I was jealous of people who were hard-charging, alpha-types who made stuff happen. Now I’m more focused on where I can make a real contribution. How are my kids doing? Am I giving my friends and colleagues the right sort of energy? Am I relaxed and at peace and is my mind working well?”
‘A NATURAL MELLOWING PROCESS‘
Klein shares similar sentiments. “Over the ensuing decade (after the project), I pursued a career in business instead of non-profit management,” Klein says in what feels like a confession. “All of a sudden, all of that criticism I had in my project, I would be on the receiving end of that. I’m the one that is doing something intellectually stimulating but doesn’t necessarily create a social good. That has softened my perspective on people who pursue careers in things that aren’t helping others directly. I’ve learned that’s OK.”
Why the change?
“I’ve seen more of the world and have met more people,” Klein says. “I think it’s a natural mellowing process some go through with age. At 37, I’d seen a lot more and a broader swath of the world than at 27. I think the arrogance I conveyed in the article was expressed in the context of not having exposure to real world experiences. I feel different about almost everything now.”
Raymond had a similar revelation as he was leaving China after selling his first company.
“I realized life isn’t forever and there are more important things than work,” Raymond explains. “Our time here is very transient. We can get very visceral and think we have a real experience of permanence. But that’s just not the case.”
(See the next page for key insights and direct quotes from members the class of 2002.)