Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's Only Business

So often you hear it said: "Don't take it personally, it's only business." I've got to say I've never understood that statement. Seriously. I'm asking the question here... How can you NOT take something personally, if it is directed at or affects you in a negative manner? What other way is there to take it? I am a PERSON - deserving to be dealt with in a respectable and honorable manner. We are encouraged to take it personally if it affects us in a positive manner. But if it's negative.... well that's "just business.".

I've always seen this statement as an excuse to not consider the humanity of the person you are having dealings with. I see this as especially easy to do within any "system" or business. If you don't consider the implications of your actions on the people it will affect....

I've been accused of being naive before.... and perhaps I am here.... or a bit too simplistic....

Today we watched Charles Dickens "A Christmas Carol"... a dramatic movie version starring George C. Scott.... It was excellent... and as is the point, this time of year.... an exchange in it between Scrooge and his old business partner (now dead, ghost) Marley brought home what I am trying to say....

Here's part of their conversation when Marley was trying to warn Scrooge against the path that he was following:

Marley: ....... "Not to know that no space of regret can make amends for one life's opportunity misused! Yet such was I! Oh! such was I!"

"But you were always a good man of business, Jacob," faltered Scrooge, who now began to apply this to himself.

"Business!" cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again.

"Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business!"

Well, it was much more dramatic in the movie :)

But I hope you get my point.... In my humble opinion, the business community, the economy, the people of America, and beyond to the world would be in much better shape if those involved in business considered their first order of "business" to be the common welfare....

ooops! there's that nasty word again! (welfare).... it used to have a much different meaning!

Your thoughts anyone?

No comments: