Wilkinson: The Paepcke dream
Shortly after I moved to Aspen in 1971, I had the privilege to be a neighbor of Elizabeth Paepcke. We visited sometimes as she worked in her rose garden.
So when some local people have made statements that they feel she would not be happy — and indeed ashamed — of how the institute and Aspen itself have evolved or devolved, I wondered.
At the end of her life, Elizabeth said, “Aspen can’t be swallowed by the avariciousness of those who don’t understand the reason for its existence.”
Walter Paepcke put her thought to words when he said: “Aspen is a place for leaders to lift their sights above the possessions, which posses them. To confront their own nature as human beings. To regain control over their own humanity by becoming more self-aware, more self-correcting, and hence more self-fulfilling.”