27th Sep 2015
by Virginia Harris, C.S.B.
What a week for seeing what happens when a company chooses the bottom line over people’s health…and trust. In the most recent news:
- Volkswagen deliberately sold millions of diesel cars that emit harmful pollutants many times over the allowed level in the U.S. and Europe.
- A U.S. peanut company knowingly shipped tainted food products to retail stores that seriously harmed hundreds of people.
The most common question asked in reviewing both situations was, “What were they thinking?” It is pretty clear that increasing profitability – whatever the cost – was the guideline in both cases. Companies are supposed to be profitable, but business wisdom advises that the best way is through satisfying customers, not harming them.
While it is tempting to be angry and judge bad choices and behavior, perhaps there is an opportunity here for each one of us to ask, “What am I thinking and choosing each day?” Daily life is filled with moment by moment choices…are we choosing well?
In the Old Testament, one of the prophets (Joshua) declares, “…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve.” Choices determine your sense of life and your expression of it. They can make you feel alive, engaged, inspired to do more – or they can make you feel isolated, afraid, alone. A corollary to “Whom will I serve” is, “What am I serving up to others?”
When your highest motive is to live a life of compassion, generosity, and gratitude, your choices will be clear and your life enriched. This is the divinely-centered life, beginning each day in prayer and intention to serve divine Love. How? By serving up unconditional kindness and goodness to others.
Opportunities to serve with gratitude will come to you abundantly in your work, with family and friends, by volunteering, and even in your daily errands in the community. In fact, this is the life to choose!
Start the day with this most important choice, and there is no room for selfish, limited, fearful, or money-driven choices. When consciousness is filled with the desire to do only good, then only good decisions can be made – with the best possible results.
Can companies be productive this way too? There are many examples throughout the world of big and small companies filled with employees who focus on serving their customers fairly, judiciously, and kindly. They create a company atmosphere of right choices, benefits, and productivity that includes the bottom line.
Choose you this day…the life to serve Love with love for others. Good choice!