In God We Trust
Restoring Faith in Our Institutions Means Restoring Faith in Ourselves In a recent article in the Wall Street Journal entitled "Invisible Hand Works Because of Invisible Handshake, trust was considered the pillar in upholding our capitalist system. It is no accident that the founders of our country included these words on our currency. However trust can only be effective when we live our lives in service to a higher authority. The concept of spiritual capitalism is demonstrated by effective business organizations, which maximize benefits for their customers, their company and the community as a whole. This requires a long-term focus, which is difficult to achieve in many public companies that are driven by short term profitability reporting.
If all our attention and focus is on serving our customers then long-term share price maximization can be achieved. For capitalism to be most effective we need to move away from the focus on short-term profitability and refocus on fundamental business building. Decisions must be made using the How can I serve, how can I help yardstick. We can start to apply these concepts at the individual level of the manager and employee and develop a code of ethics that can be applied for organizational decision-making.
If our form of capitalism evolved to this level, then we could avoid activist governmental regulation and the costs associated therewith. Governmental regulation is often needed when capitalism is deprived of spirituality. Unfortunately government regulation creates yet another bureaucracy with its related inefficiencies.
In industries such and the accounting industry and the healthcare industry, we need to redesign the system so that the service provider's interest is aligned with that of the customer. In the healthcare industry the third party payer system is ruining the quality of care and in the accounting industry the interest of the auditors are not in line with their customers, the investors because they are being paid by industry...Well DUH. Who thought up this one anyway?
The laws of nature are much more efficient and effective than the laws of man. Whenever possible we should design systems that mirror the brilliance of nature. Sometimes this requires a leap of faith or change in on our belief systems.
No matter how sophisticated the systems we devise, those with ill intent can find a way to defeat such systems. A better approach would be to change the belief systems of those who are gaming the system.
Currently our belief systems have embraced Materialism over Spiritualism and the result has been a series of plagues; healthcare, terrorism, accounting scandals, religious scandals and violence, wildlife mismanagement, litigation, etc.
The founders of our country were very wealthy men. They were willing to give up all their wealth and material possessions, even their lives, for a principle.
Are we honoring their spirit and sacrifice when we do business with countries that violate basic human rights because of the economic consequences? When we start to sacrifice our values where does it end? In the playground? In the doctors office? In our companies? In the Church? Or in the oval office?
The question is who is your Lord? Who is your master? Who are you serving? Money? Cars? Impressing Neighbors? Or the true Spirit?
We have made our celebrities into kings and queens, and these unhappy rulers retain power by peddling materialism to further their own gain. Our corporate organizations resemble the courts of the feudal era; the only thing we lack is the jester. Perhaps all corporations should hire a chief humor officer.
Currently the engine of capitalism is pulled by material consumption and fear-based motivation. While we have been very productive we have also have produced a nation of obesity and chronic disease, while we continue to spend more and more on healthcare.
The shift away from materialism toward personal freedom will not be easy. There will be many in government, business, religious institutions and the media that will fight against it because they will lose power over us. Ultimately it is up to all of us to start to own our own power and develop a relationship with God or spirit, which needs to be part of our every day lives. The source of life I tap into is forgiving, loving non-judgmental and compassionate. Perhaps if the right wing would be willing to empower the individual with direct communion with the divine, the left wing could become more comfortable with public expressions of spirituality.
In the beginning I was a voice in the wilderness, a mild mannered CPA working for Anderson on the Enron account who had a midlife crises and morphed into a Yoga Guru/Author because my wife wouldn't let me have an affair or purchase a sports car. I should have just bought an expensive house, that would have kept my mind focused. But in all seriousness, I didnt work for Anderson but I had similar experiences in the corporate world, which led me down this path including a manager committing suicide and the untimely death of my father.
In yoga we believe that all suffering is self-created. Like Dr. Bernie Siegel I have done a great deal of work with cancer patients. We have learned that people facing life-challenging illnesses are more likely to start facing the denial process and more willing to change the belief systems, which are no longer serving them. We use these same principles to help companies that are starting to address market-challenging situations.
For the individual the greatest challenge is to face our mortality. Meditation helps us to overcome this fear as the meditative process exposes the truth. Once this fear crumbles the rest fall by the wayside and fundamental change can occur.
So if you are interested in changing our institutions, the first place to start is the self by going within. Take a healing interval by following your breath and focusing on how to change your life and how we can change the world. Then we can begin to send a message to those in power who are running our institutions.
The technology of the Internet can empower us to challenge the established order. One way to do this is to send this to the people you know that are in need of empowerment, and then suggest they do the same with others. We all have so much power, but we have been afraid to use it. It's time to stop being afraid. It's time we start owning our own power and helping others own theirs.
© 2007, Bruce Eric Van Horn
If we could give every individual the right amount of nourishment and exercise, not too little and not too much, we would have found the safest way to health. - Hippocrates
Author, CPA, MBA and yoga instructor Bruce Van Horn founded Yoga for Business, Inc., a company devoted to organizational and individual wellness. He presents a daily Yoga Workout routine that provides a complete physical, mental and spiritual workout. He is the author of Yoga for Prostate Health and Yoga for Men, designed for all levels of experience with yoga.. He has renamed (Asanas) positions in Yoga using terms from business to help you identify with the movement and focus your attention. He is the Chair of the Advisory Board for the Center for Complimentary Medicine at the Cancer Institute of New Jersey. Bruce also leads a volunteer yoga program designed for cancer patients and healthcare workers at Beth Israel Medical Center. He lives outside New York with his wife Michelle who is a Reiki Master. Bruce has two daughters who have asked that he refrain from headstands at the town pool. His website is www.yogaforbusiness.com If you have any questions, feel free to write: E-Mail.
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