I've been thinking about our meeting. You and I have been through a lot in the last few months, and God knows worked with your Dad for longer than I care to remember. So do me a favor and just indulge an old vet for a couple of minutes.
There's no doubt we're in the middle of a crisis here. There's something interesting about that word though. The Chinese character for "crisis" comes from the combination of their root symbols for "danger" and "opportunity". This is a dangerous situation, but one that offers you an grand opportunity.
My daughter Chloe is wise way beyond her years. Lasts night during dinner my wife and I were discussing the crisis at the plant. Chloe said "Let's just hope that Lex doesn't make Smallville his Thebes." As a history buff, you surely know what she's referring to. It's 336 BC. Alexander is 20. He's the new ruler of Macedon. Not everyone's happy about it. The Thebans, a major part of the empire that Alexander inherited from his father, decide to present him with his very first crisis.
Showing no respect for their new monarch, the Thebans rebel, prompting Alexander to march on their city. Calmer heads do not prevail. Alexander seizes the "opportunity" to send a powerful statement to the rest of his empire. He and his armies kill six thousand Thebans, demolish the city, and sell the 30,000 survivors into slavery. Scorched earth, Lex. That was how Alexander the Great chose to inaugurate his reign at what my college history professor liked to call the first modern empire's birthplace. But that is only history. Now you have a choice between seizing the opportunity or fleeing from the danger. What you so will define your regime, as Alexander's actions defined his for generations to come.
You know Lionel will have a plan to counteract your own. Stand firm. I sincerely hope you will seize this "opportunity" to show your father and the business world -- as well as those os us who serve you -- an example of righteous and compassionate leadership. My family and I pray that you will.
And I, for one, am confident that you can.
I wish you good fortune, great strength, and a clear, calm head during our crisis.
Manager, LuthorCorp Plant No. 3