Business and Humanity

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The visionary thinks beyond his company or his immediate profit. He thinks of the larger good. And, that is what makes him different. There is no place for labor exploitation and harassment of workers in such an enterprise

I have been thinking about both Business and Humanity repeatedly. The above quote was one that caught my attention. This blog was due in Sept 2014. Yes a lot of things come in mind and thus ideas get spread, and forgotten at times.

I revisited this title with reference to an interesting news of recent past – Donating the milk of human kindness. This kind of businesses and business ideas impress me a lot. There are a lot of social enterprises that work on the balance between Business and Social good. I have written a couple of blogs on social enterprise earlier. At times it is very difficult to survive in competitive markets with such a cause. There may have been a lot of other companies that probably we (I) might not know and were wound up due to financial crisis. When such closures happen, I start questioning myself again – what is the purpose? Why we work? and many other such leading questions. These points make me wonder many a times, that perhaps when we did not have the concept of money, humans were valued more. With Humans, human values were respected more. With human values, we probably were more caring, just and welcoming.

The other thoughts going on in my mind were – my recent vacation to Ganpatipule and a video clip of actress Mahira Khan which is going viral of late. In Ganpatipule I visited “Prachin Kokan” a tourist attraction there. It is a place to know about how was Indian social fabric in past, for those who have never lived in Indian village or are kids growing up in tier-1 or tier-2 cities in India it could be a place to know how was our society. Though caste system was depicted there, I could not find a mention to “untouchables” there, so I may be able to write on what was wrong in past – compared to what we learnt in schools. In that museum I could relate to business and humanity working together in historic India – such as a bangle seller would not take money from a baby girl of village. At the time of the girl’s marriage, father of the girl will give this bangle seller gold coin or something. I wonder if we were less ambitious (perhaps driven less by wealth) – as a society – during those times. I could relate this museum and that society to gratitude.

Gratitude, made me connect to the opinion and viral video clip of Mahira Khan. In this video I felt that if this actress had problem with India she should have refused working here. Though the interviewer is talking more in the clip, but if a person has so much issue with a whole country he or she should just keep oneself away from them isn’t it? This shows a person being opportunistic and thankless. This thought makes me go round to business. The actress is doing business, by acting in Indian movie. Agreed! The question again comes back – can we club or say compromise – “business and humanity” and “business and our self-respect” and “business and our values”?

Quote – Business Standard article – Buddha at Work

Disclaimer – author has not seen/visited the website of BabyChakra (referred in the donating the milk of human kindness), nor is related to the company.

Imaginations, ‘The holy book’ & religion

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Occasionally I read some or the other story from the book – Prayer of the frog by Father Antony de Mello. The book is available in two volumes Prayer of the Frog Volume 1 and Prayer of the Frog Volume 2. The books have small and very interesting stories. One of the story I read recently is somewhat brazen, I must warn you – you may feel offended. So, read keeping your sword, words and hatred for me or late Father de Mello aside. Feel free to comment on the story.

Stories are nothing but imaginations, some write book based on imaginations, other write blog :). There are few that are worth contemplating. One must always be inquisitive, that inquisitiveness gives opportunity to grow, learn and do something worthwhile.

The art of making fire

After many years of labor an inventor discovered the art of making fire. He took his tools to the snow-clad northern regions and initiated a tribe into the art—and the advantages—of making fire. The people became so absorbed in this novelty that it did not occur to them to thank the inventor who one day quietly slipped away. Being one of those rare human beings endowed with greatness, he had no desire to be remembered or revered; all he sought was the satisfaction of knowing that someone had benefited from his discovery.

The next tribe he went to was just as eager to learn as the first. But the local priests, jealous of the stranger’s hold on the people, had him assassinated. To allay any suspicion of the crime, they had a portrait of the Great Inventor enthroned upon the main altar of the temple; and a liturgy designed so that his name would be revered and his memory kept alive. The greatest care was taken that not a single rubric of the liturgy was altered or omitted. The tools for making (ire were enshrined within a casket and were said to bring healing to all who laid their hands on them with faith.

The High Priest himself undertook the task of compiling a Life of the Inventor. This became the Holy book in which his loving kindness was offered as an example for all to emulate, his glorious deeds were eulogized, his superhuman nature made an article of faith. The priests saw to it that the Book was handed down to future generations, while they authoritatively interpreted the meaning of his words and the significance of his holy life and death. And they ruthlessly punished with death or excommunication anyone who deviated from their doctrine. Caught up as they were in these religious tasks, the people completely forgot the art of making fire.

Postscript – if you are offended, perhaps you value the book more than the invention!

It has happened with many religion in the world that we started value of the book than what was the actual useful method. This approach has resulted in a lot of conflict and is resulting in the conflicts.

Imaginations was the topic for the week for LBC (Loose Bloggers Consortium). You can read other LBC authors opinions here – Maria, Rummuser and Shackman.

Image source – http://listovative.com/top-11-inventions-changed-world-forever/

Story source – The prayer of the Frog

Farewell 2016

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Wish you a Very Happy New Year.

Cherish the moments you enjoyed and learn from the mistakes made – that he how we must move on in life and celebrate. Isnt it? The year 2016 was eventful. Every year is eventful though New Year blog 2016, New Year blog 2015, New Year blog 2014, New Year Blog 2013, New Year blog 2012, New Year blog 2011  😉

Terrorism – There is a new common for the world – terrorism – so that was as usual, religious extremism has not only kept its target India but added Europe to it. These apparently look like some unorganized terrorist attacks, but the end of many of these thread is common. The list is not small – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_terrorist_incidents,_2016 We need to ask ourselves – when are we going to be “human” behave like humans? Did we learn anything from this in 2016? In fact I wrote this and heard 2017 has started with terrorist attack in Turkey! Waste! These good for nothing parasites on the face of earth do not understand what nonsense they are involved in, if some religion teaches this that is not a religion at all.

Business & Economics – There were few big developments in the year, first UK voted to leave European Union, second Wells Fargo of US was found out to be involved in a big scandal and third India demonetized high denomination currencies. Here is a wonderful Ted Talk on UK’s vote to leave EU.

Wells Fargo scandal has no lesser words for taking strict actions against the high, mighty and decision makers who looked for Q-o-Q results and made up books, profits and rewards the culprits. You must watch this video to know how

Demonetization in India shook many within India, and to utter surprise three others countries planed to follow suit – http://qz.com/867724/three-countries-across-three-continents-after-modis-india-demonitisation-has-spread-to-other-countries-too/

What banks did post demonetization in India must be a subject matter of scrutiny same as Wells Forgo in the US.

Another battle happening currently in India is Tata group Vs Cyrus Mistry (the story is yet to unfold fully in 2017). As of 10th Dec 2016 (source), Investors of Tata group have lost about Rs 81,000 crore (810 Billion INR) in seven top Tata group companies since October 24 as Mistry was replaced by Ratan Tata as Tata Sons chairman.

Politics – Donald J Trump the next President of USA. It was most surprising and unthinkable when campaigning started last year. I wonder if what inspired Trump was mockery by Obama in white house in 2011.

Corruption – There was enough and more hue and cry about Panama papers. Corruption of many rich people worldwide. What is Panama papers? Watch the following video to know more. We must ask each one of these filthy rich people – what would they get by making, hoarding and rolling so much money all over the world? Remember we all leave everything here, including the wealth.

Somethings caught my eyes, were AT&T’s acquisition of Yahoo, LinkedIn’s by Microsoft and the phenomenon called Pokemon Go! https://techcrunch.com/2016/07/11/crunch-report-pokemon-go-mania/
Pokémon Go added $9B to Nintendo’s value, global rollout continues within a week
Pokémon Go has an estimated 7.5M U.S. downloads, $1.6M in daily revenue within a week
Will 22K people turn up to catch Pokémon in San Francisco and what less – Robbers target Pokémon Go players in Missouri.

What all these events have taught us? Humanity is important than a religion and terrorism. Globalization needs a perspective of interdependence at times we need to let go of some control, at times be need to think of inclusion. Every company has to be responsible, whether its Wells Fargo or Tata group. Never mock anyone, even if you are the president of the worlds most powerful, economically strong country. You will leave your wealth here only, pay your taxes instead of evading it. Legitimate money will make you and your money more respectable and in the end you would leave your body too here, wont take anything back with you. If you are doing something, put your heart and soul in it, make it awesome like the Pokemon Go!

This was LBC topic for farewell to 2016, I am late, was bit occupied with a preparation for a workshop on IPR held yesterday 31st Dec. You can read other blogs of other Loose Bloggers Consortium members at Ramana Uncleji and Shackman.

Are You Enjoying What You Are Doing?

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I have been writing on Business to the Buddha for 6+ years, 325 or so blogs now. If you have read my previous posts and at times the title, you might have wondered, why such title? One reason you can read it on this link, and other is to look for a way how we can have a more inclusive, economically better and psychologically calmer society? The question of this post – “Are you enjoying what you are doing?” is directed towards that economics and psychological thought.

What all do we do except our daily chores such as eating, sleeping etc? In those activities there are some mandatory activities and some forced and other times hobbies there are always choices and challenges. Some things we do not like doing yet we have to do, some times we like doing something but we have to postpone those. This is where many people think of such question.

Long back precisely in Oct 2011, I drafted a blog “Do what you love doing”. Somehow I never completed that article, parts of that are produced below –

…On this point, I had contention recently in a professional set-up. I also believe that if one does what he/she enjoys doing lot of issues of his/her life could be solved. Take an example – in Mumbai average a person travels 2 1/2 hours per day, works for about 9-10 hours, sleeps say 7 1/2 hours and whatever time is left she/he either stays with family, goes to social gathering or does domestic works. If more than 1/2 time daily goes in office related activities, why not someone do something which is relevant to the interest of the individual? This choice of ‘doing something which is of interest’ has to be a mature and personal decision of a person…

This was with reference to a reward program in a company. My point of view was very opposite of what many other employees of that company believed in- though the management was appreciative of my opinion. I understood later why employee-employer relations are the way they are in many companies. My observation is – in many cases, beyond money there is a drive that makes a person get up in morning at go to a job. Until one reaches that level of awareness, person looks forward to the last day of month when salary will be credited. If someone has passion and purpose one finds time, energy and resources to do that activity. When this happens a person truly enjoys what he/she is doing.

This small point what Osho said – “If everybody learns this simple art of loving his work, whatever it is, enjoying it without asking for any recognition, we would have a more beautiful and celebrating world.” is very valid. If we would either start loving what we do, or we start doing what we love our economy and Human Development Index both will fare better.

I raised this question to some of my email & blog friends, from that discussion the question became topic of Loose Bloggers Consortium. You can read thoughts of other two writers – Rummuser uncleji here and Shackman uncleji here.

Image source – http://oshoinsight.com/tag/enjoy/

Resonance

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We were sitting in chairman’s room of a big corporate house. He had gifted me a signed copy of a book written by his family member – the book was related to work, spirituality and family life. I wish I had met the author once, because the book is on aspects of life which I am exploring. The book has a straightforward message similar to Bhagvat Geeta – work is worship and how to achieve a content life even after being fully involved with material world. I had been writing for close to 6 years now on spirituality and business, this was the first time I had met a Chairman of a successful and listed company who spoke so eloquently on spirituality.

During our discussion I asked him, how does he balance spirituality and work? How can he pass on the message of spirituality to his line managers, executioners’ et al? This question was in my mind because when a person has basic needs fulfilled (shelter, food & clothing) then only he/she may think of higher pursuit in life. So, it sounds tough to send the message of spirituality, work, and growth and still balance in life to those who are struggling to make ends meet, isn’t it?

His response was pretty interesting. He asked me – “Have you studied Physics?” I said yes. He continued – “So you must be aware of resonance” He further added, “we all are made of same energy. So laws of physics apply to all of us. If someone reaches the resonance frequency of source (s)he starts resonating on the frequency. It does not require for an object to know physics to resonate on its natural frequency, isn’t it? This is how message has to be communicated; this message does not require reading books spirituality, if environment is conducive person learns. That is how the message goes to every level.”

It was interesting to speak with him, he spoke about business, spirituality and added another dimension to my thinking – science! Even if a person is atheist, the natural law of physics will apply to him; gravitational force will pull him down, right? That is how spirituality is, it does not differentiate. Spirituality is the science which is essence of everything, even if one believes or follows any religion.

I believe when more and more people become spiritual, the organizations and economy will take a more interesting turn worldwide.

PS – What is resonance? Every material has its natural frequency of oscillation. Once another object oscillating in same frequency comes near this material, the material starts oscillating or comes into vibrational motion.

Note – this is more than a year old article published after modification.

Lady’s Finger Recipe

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Nope, this post is not about how to make, it is inspired by a grandma making Lady’s Finger.

When I was in schools, my brother once told me for the subject of history that I did not like – “You have to study it irrespective of your choice. Our system is such that to graduate to the next grade you have to pass each subject, even if you don’t like or enjoy one subject. So better be sincere for the subject, forget scoring well in that at least get passing grades.” After that he added – “Do not think too much about liking or disliking the subject just give it some time to sink in. Just study it do not be feverish about it.”

This was a good start for some of the things I did not like. It does not mean I enjoyed taking every subject sincerely. I never enjoyed History as a subject, until I had to pass the subject upto grade 10 (include English language upto 12th). Reading anything on history later on was interesting though. There was no pressure to “passing” the subject anymore, no need to remember anything. This point made me somewhat more sincere to “what I did” and somewhat in learning rather than the grades. Well, it still does not mean that I became a great student – I was just an above average student. After all these exercises, I learnt one thing – put some efforts, dedicate time and energy to what one is doing. Sincerity and dedication were two takeaway words from there. The lesson is on and off with me.

My wife is always interested in cooking new stuff. She keeps on learning new dishes and experiment with those. Recently, she was watching ‘Lady’s Finger Recipe’. Out of curious I too started watching the video with her. To my utter surprise, the cook was not working in a high profile kitchen. It was some open space, not on a good quality burner, but on a chulha, an open air temporarily made fireplace. The first glance made me even more curious. I started watching the recipe. What made me stuck to the video was the dedication of the cook.

I and my wife spoke to each other – wow! She is so content, no pressure of running to office after cooking food and packing it in tiffins. No pressure of cooking, dinner, washing utensils and sleeping to get ready for the next day either. She looks so peaceful making this. This kind of devotedness one needs to be happy in life, isnt it? No worries of getting passing grades and dislike for doing what you are doing.

This kind of work ethics remind me of meditation. Work does not remain work, it becomes a prayer.

Isn’t there a lot of learn from grandma in this small 8 min video?

Related blogs – Truth is something you really do.

 

My Favorite Fictional Character

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Have you ever thought about fiction and reality? Fiction is something untrue, made-up or imaginary. How can I say that the Buddha or Krishna or Jesus was someone who actually walked the face of earth. Is it a possibility that these were imagination of someone? This thought puts me to another thought, what if I myself am is some imagination and a reality is somewhere, something else.

Have you ever had a dream, Neo, that you were so sure was real? What if you were unable to wake from that dream? How would you know the difference between the dream world and the real world? Morpheus The Matrix

What makes something real? Is it because I think, see, feel (perhaps smell or hear) and my mind makes me feel that this is something real because I can sense it? Or something is real because it exist without someone’s ability to sense it or no. Take an example of light – we cannot see light beyond a certain frequency range. Does it make the light non-existent?

These questions remind me of a very interesting movie – The Matrix.

“…The Matrix is everywhere. It is all around us. Even now, in this very room. You can see it when you look out your window or when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work… when you go to church… when you pay your taxes. It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes to blind you from the truth…”

I have had a couple of Morpheus in my life to teach me. I have written about almost everyone on this blog. I would want to be Morpheus too, for someone or few in future. I love the character of Morpheus from The Matrix the most. Morpheus is a believer, he courageous. The best part is, the kind of confidence Morpheus has in Neo, it makes me feel that I want to be Neo too. Laurence Fishburne played the role so well that I keep on watching his teachings (dialogs) whenever I feel I should. There are a lot of learnings in those dialogs – “Do not think you are, KNOW you are.” I have written on the movie (red pill) earlier too. I was so fascinated with the movie that I used to tell people that I am fine being a spot-boy for the movie – alas I am in India :(. The movie is so philosophical and spiritual to me that I repeatedly watch it.

Instead of me talking (writing), I would want to share some videos of the movie (Youtube), not sure about the copyright permissions there.

I see many of my teachers in Morpheus – they are indeed my Favorite (they are real) human beings, this blog post is dedicated to all of them. This was the title of this weeks Friday Loose Bloggers Consortium. Con You can read other LBC bloggers thoughts here – Rummuser and Shackman.

Free will

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I was watching this link of Time magazine – 100 photos of all time. These are 100 photos that are kind of defining in our recent past. These photos include photo from first man on moon and Mohammad Ali winning against Sonny Liston to Tank man (China democracy demand of late 1980s) to other atrocities based photos et al. These photos also include photos of AIDS victim, Somalia, burning monk & Terror of war (Vitenam war) and black power salute (against discrimination in the USA).mahatma-vs-hitler

After watching all these pictures, I could think of one thing – choice is always ours – should be dream of man to be on moon, or be a winner of games or winners of the games with demanding the respect a community deserves which the sports person belongs to. The choice is always ours if we want to demand peace, prosperity, development and compassion.

Choice is always ours – to be the Mahatma or Mushroom Cloud creator Over Nagasaki. This is “free will”.

Everything is perfect in this world (authors old blog post 🙂 the world is imperfect), only thing is we need to change our perspective. The choice is ours – if we want we can see beauty of the chaos or the order also seems meaningless & confusing.

Whenever we talk about Free will, question of fate crops up. Concept of free will applies to our industries too – global warming and environmental damages are representation of our free will. The fate of our coming generation is at the cost of our present free will. This is why the emphasis on Business to the Buddha. I remember in one old talk by Guruji (Sri Sri Ravi Shankar) somewhere when he said – “All your past was your fate (Karma), all your future is free will.” Interesting, isnt it? There is a balance. So always choice is yours – take current action (free will) such that your fate (karma) becomes good for you.

This week’s Loose Bloggers Consortium blog was titled – Free Will. I have written a couple of times on this title earlier too, read them . You can read other LBC bloggers thoughts here – – Rummuser and Shackman.

Lessons from animations

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In Three idiots, character of Aamir Khan says – “Sab jagah gyan bant raha hai, jahan se jitna man kare, le lo”

In Hindi – सब जगह ज्ञान बाँट रहा है, जहाँ से जितना मन करे, ले लो

Translation – Knowledge is everywhere (shared), whatever amount of it you want to capture, just grab it.

It is correct that we can learn from everywhere. I shall take few examples from animation movies. These movies are generally made of entertainment of kids. I am not sure how much kids learn from these, however, we grown ups can learn a lot.

We are all unique (to Marty in Madagascar), yet are engaged in exactly the same activities day in and day out (Scrat in Ice age). Eventually, individually we all will extinct one day (Ice age animation franchisee is based on extinction), yet until we are alive – we must live in NOW, with inner peace and continuously tryout new things (Kung Fu Panda). The lessons apply to us in everyday life, include business or professional life too.

Watch all of them below. Source Youtube.

All the Zebra’s to Marty “We are unique”

We are really unique. But we have forgotten that. All of us are doing what Scrat in Ice age kept on doing starting Ice age 1 to the recent Ice age. We are doing this for generations. Its was initially for survival and now it is a fighting for your possession.

I like these small movie clips, characters and their resemblance to us and teachings for us in general.

Kung Fu Panda is one such character which has always (for at least past three consecutive movies) has surprised, made me think and engaged me is – Kung Fu Panda. I have written about the teachings earlier too. Here are some three good lessons –

  1. We are unique, we should not try to be copy of someone else. A leader should not try to make his/her followers or support staff a copy of self. Po says “I have to teach you to be you”
  2. If you keep on doing what you have been doing you cannot grow as a professional
  3. Time is just an illusion, there is only the Now

Universe is full of such lessons, we just need to open our eyes, Isnt it?

This week’s Loose Bloggers Consortium blog was titled – Your favorite cartoon character. As usual I changed it. You can read other LBC bloggers thoughts here – – Rummuser and Shackman.

Everything is ephemeral

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Water was boiling, I stared at it for a while, brought sugar and tea powder. We make tea/coffee rarely at home, mostly on weekends. Soon I was adrift with many thoughts and boiling water started evaporating. I quickly added more water to the cattle, added sugar, tea powder and grated some ginger. Again the same oblivion cropped in. This time around the thoughts were about effervescent boiling water into steam vapors. So suddenly water was lost everything the cattle was empty. I could add more water here, how about us? We die!

Drop meeting OceanOur life – similarly – is also ephemeral. You take a lot of time to understand and by the time you feel you are getting a hang of it, it is over! Wonder how many people even get to understand or even give it a try to understand. Though I am not an expert, but think about life. At times when I see no clue, it comes in mind as if the end (death) itself is the ultimate truth when everything of what we perceive as “reality” ends. Perhaps there is some meaning beyond these perceptions. When we hear enlightened masters, they say everything is “here and now”.

When a person dies, does the world become useless for him/her or the person become worthless for the world? The question was weird going through this little mind. The other point in this small complicated thing was with so transitory life, we have so many things to be proud (arrogant) about. I ranked this, I did that great thing, increased revenue by X% and traveled around so many places. In fact the Indian postulate on life/death is, we come back – rebirth. That is even more interesting, convoluted and thinks of even higher mind.

In all these thoughts, the tea was ready, thankfully this time around I was bit alert. I poured it in cups. We sat on the dinning table sipping our tea. You know this cup of tea will end soon. At times it happens such that by the time you are aware that this tea was awesome, it is over! Whatever has a beginning has an end too – the Buddha said it. It is true, be it being a Chairman of Tata Groups or a note of 500/1000 rupee in India. How long can one hold on to position? How long can the currency keep its value? Everything changes with time, some end some improve some extinct. Why worry? If things are improving why interfere? There were hiccups in Infosys recently, it looks like it is going back on track. One shouldn’t be too attached to anything. My water evaporated, my tea finished in some time. The currency notes of 500 and 1000 are out! Instead of attachment or being possessive one must know that things are evanescent, life is ephemeral, if something has a beginning, it surely will have an end too.

Flow is the name of life, stagnation is end.

All this rambling started with boiling water of tea, ended up at Tata group and currency notes of India. The tea was over, but thoughts were not. Though I could add water in my boiling cattle, whats the use of adding more water in our life?

We witnessed end of currency notes, we see people dying, but unfortunately we keep on thinking that we are immortal. My question is, if we accepted that “I will die some day”, what next? What we should search for, what we should strive for? What is the quest? What is that should keep one up in night, and push you out of bad every morning? What is that?

Sadhguru on Things We must do every Morning