People have asked me for an example of a family constitution to better understand its function. I thought I’d share with you the Mogi Family Creed. This family has stayed together since the 1600s. An interesting fact I have been told is that although the family council reviews the creed every five years they have not found it necessary to make changes to it for nearly 100 years. Even with changing times and new generations the current family members find their creed relevant to them.
Article I – All family members desire peace. Never fight, and always respect each other. Ensure progress in business and the perpetuation of family prosperity.
Article II – Loving God and Buddha is the source of all virtue. Keeping faith leads to a peaceful mind.
Article III – All family members should be polite to each other. If the master is not polite, the others will not follow. Sin is the result of being impolite. Families–young and old, masters and workers–govern themselves by politeness; then peace will be brought of their own accord.
Article IV – Virtue is the cause, fortune the effect. Never mistake the cause for the effect. Never judge people on whether they are rich or not.
Article V – Keep strict discipline. Demand diligence. Preserve order—young and old, masters and workers.
Article VI – Business depends upon people. Do not make appointments or dismissals using personal prejudices. Put the right man in the right place. Loving men who do what they should bring peace to their minds.
Article VII – Education of the children is our responsibility to the nation. Train the body and mind with moral, intellectual, and physical education.
Article VIII – Approach all living beings with love. Love is fundamental to human beings and the source of a life worth living. Words are the door to fortune and misfortune. A foul tongue hurts oneself and others. A kind tongue keeps everything peaceful. Be careful in every word you speak.
Article IX – Keep humbleness and diligence, which have been handed down over the years from our forefathers. Make every effort to do as much as you can.
Article X – True earning comes from the labor of sweat. Speculation is not the best road to follow. Don’t do business by taking advantage of another’s weakness.
Article XI – Competition is an important factor in progress, but avoid extreme or unreasonable competition. Strive to prosper together with the public.
Article XII – Make success or failure clear, judge fairly punishment and reward. Never fail to reward meritorious service, and don’t allow a mistake to go unpunished.
Article XIII – Consult with family members when starting a new business. Never try anything alone. Always appreciate any profit made by your family
Article XIV – Don’t carelessly fall into debt. Don’t recklessly be a guarantor of liability. Don’t lend money with the purpose of gaining interest, because you are not a bank.
Article XV – Save money from your earnings and give to society as much as you can. But never ask for a reward or think highly of yourself.
Article XVI – Don’t decide important affairs by yourself. Always consult with the people concerned before making a decision. Then employees will have a positive attitude in their work
Thank you to UMass Amherst for the publication of this information. With this as an example, think about how a family roadmap can benefit families, for generations.