It has often been said that people outside of a certain field will be the first to create new discoveries in that field...because they bring fresh eyes to it, of course. And so here I am writing a blog post about business, even when I am not an expert in business.
But what I do have is a fairly deep understanding of how people work. And how they don't work. And I also enjoy a fairly deep understanding of what life is for - what we are doing here. And with that said, I want to say something about business...
Unenlightened businesses are not hard to find. We can all look around and see Monsanto, McDonald's, or other gross examples. But even in these businesses there are elements of enlightened activity: Monsanto obviously is good at getting things done, and McDonald's has been recognized as one of the 'Top 50 Places to Work'. But clearly enlightened business is a lot more than this. Because...do those companies have heart? Are they making the work a better place? Because that might just be the key element that makes enlightened businesses enlightened: do they benefit our world, or do they harm it in any way?
Make no mistake: if you make money, (who doesn't) then, you are, essentially, a business in yourself. So we could say that we are all little businesses. Every one of us is an independent business entity, since we all must provide some service to each other to live in today's world. And so it might be wise for us all to give the 'Business of Me' a little check-up from time to time on how we're doing...if our business activities are more enlightened or less enlightened.
So now I'm going to just say it: Personally, I think that enlightened business activity has one major defining element that makes it what it is: Compassion. The question is, 'Is your business activity motivated by compassion?' Or put another way, 'Are you doing what you're doing out of a sense of caring and empathy?' Because there are other motivations that could be driving us. There is desire, like for money, attention or love. This is a natural motivation, but it can also bring with it a kind of karmic backlash, ie: results you don't really want. Then there is fear - fear of not having enough can drive people to make lots of money. I once had a friend who had $8000 in the bank, and she still couldn't take a vacation - she was 'saving in case there is an accident and I need it.' And then there is the need to prove yourself - to prove that you are somebody important or special - so you create a big business, but your heart is not really into it. There is also the need for domination, power, or control. And even in the creative area we sometimes have non-caring motivations: we can do creativity for creativity's sake...in other words, we just get into creating without any true motive - without a real connection to compassion or trying to make the world better in some way. We might say, 'But making music is beautiful. It is uplifting.' And that might be right action, or it could just be selfishness appearing as right action. Discernment is a real need if our aim is enlightened activity.
The thing about all egoic motivations is that while we doing them, we are (often unknowingly) putting stress out into the world. We are polluting, really. Psychic pollution. We're coming from our head, not our heart. They are hard work, not heart work - we are being driven by fear or desire or aggression, and basically not going with our natural, more intuitive flow. So even if we "make money" or seem to build something - we have polluted the world to get there, and for sure what we created will not be in harmony with the world either. 'Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.' - the Bible. The Lord is great Love or Consciousness, and included in that Consciousness is a plan and the ability to overshadow and direct all creation in its activity and evolution.
Another quote, "We don't follow the rays of business or family. We do service. Maybe do it briefly, to learn how to do it."
- Buddha Maitreya the Christ
Today there is talk about "Gamechangers", companies that are reinventing business in a kinder direction of a triple bottom line of planet, people and profit. I would think these are examples of more enlightened businesses. (www.Gamechangers500.com)
Enlightened business begins with the simple, humble motivation of compassion, the will to do well, and creates only good in the world.