Ideally, how important is it to be mindful of the spirit by which we go about making our income…our living?

A recent inquiry: “I read your post with great interest. I have a question. I run a ‘leadership development’ company. I hate the term ‘consultancy’ because it smacks of greed. My question is, does ‘lightness,’ commercially speaking, imply I should be offering my skill and service for free (altruistically)? And conversely, if I make a profit, am I dancing with the devil? ‘Profit is quite a filthy word (to quote Russell Brand v Paxman).’

I’m not sure pure altruism in business is sustainable – even Bill Gates’ fortune will fall foul of commercial entropy eventually. But to offer my service to the market at the best price I can, instead of ‘milking the client for all I can,’ brings me pleasure. Not because I still make money, but because I know I did my best for the customer – including how I priced. I am building a business based on this philosophy and I find customers refer me to others because they perceive the underlying care/fairness in my approach as well as a quality service. This makes me happy. Is this aligned with your thinking? Thanks for the post.” — Tony ***THIS IS AN INQUIRY FROM A READER OF ONE OF MY BLOG POSTS, i.e.: “What would life be truly like if one could honestly say…’If in Heaven I have what I have now, I would be happy?'”  WordPress: Dec. 2, 2013

Response: Hi, Tony. Thanks so very much for sharing your such splendid thoughts and insights, please know it so genuinely means a lot.

With regard to capitalism and making money, I believe it is the ‘spirit’ (healthful or unhealthful) in which we make money that is important (and PLEASE know I mean this all in a ‘spirit’ of genuine humility and respect). I believe that the ‘Three Portents’ (prompts for all bad tidings), i.e., hate, greed, and ignorance, can be easily associated with forms of capitalism which are NOT congruent with a healthful spirit or more-so altruistic mien of making the world a better place. Having said that, I do believe that in so many cases, capitalism works to serve the better good. Once again ideally speaking, I do believe it is important to be mindful of the notion that our vocational way of life should make the world a better place (inclusive of the spirit by which we go about it).

To be fair, this of course is not always a simple or easy thing to accomplish: If possible, it can be requisite of looking WITHIN ourselves to realize significant levels of happiness and deep objective insight, vs. looking externally for things which might (only) seem to make us happy. Does another pair of shoes or another gadget make us a better person? Ongoing ‘true effort’ can be consistent with, and a result of ‘true happiness,’ and vice-versa. “It may be up to each and every one of us to decide if a ‘path of heart’ is congruent with a lack of blind or unmitigated fear and ambition…yin to yang – yang to yin.”

Most of us live in societies in which capitalism is the basis of our financial enterprise ( I am NOT here to argue this as a good thing or bad thing), and thus it is accordingly important that we endeavor to earn a responsible level of income (i.e., ideally speaking: in a fashion in which we complement our society – IF it is humanly possible). It is requisite of paying fees and taxes for the ‘roads’ and ‘bridges’ we use, along with ALL of the amazing levels of infrastructure and other relevant amenities that we enjoy (of course with regard to taxes, I know there is a lot of ‘waste’ – but that is also another issue which is not the point here).

I believe that there may come a time in the far-off future in which we could possibly ‘outgrow’ capitalism (which unto itself, is a whole other VERY complicated subject). Simply put, it is loosely congruent with the notion of ‘true health through true responsibility.’ It would mean that a large majority of people will have been raised up in a fashion in which they will work hard to make the world a better place, without the need for riches or recognition…just the right thing for the right selfless sake. The science of economics is among the most complicated of issues, and it would be up to expert economists as to how this might work in practical application (if this ever would occur at all). If this did occur, I am in no way saying that it would automatically work – it is just a possibility or potential hypothesis.

So yes, what you are saying IS so quite aligned with my thinking – it is quite clear that you are acting responsibly…mindfully in a spirit of altruism and the right thing for the right selfless sake. I believe you are succinctly making the world a better place through your splendid insight and effort. It is a pleasure and honor, Tony. Once again, thanks so much! — Dr. Glen Hepker



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