We need to talk love and business.
Why? Because business without love is, somewhere beyond all the noise and distraction, the central reason humans are in this mess of climate change, economic disparity, corruption, crisis of health…
We know love. We know what it feels like to gaze at a beautiful vista and feel completely humbled by love. To look into the eyes of our lover, our child, our pet dog…to have our heart melt with the enormity of love.
We all know this, even those of us who have constructed businesses that extract and pillage. We know deep in our bones that the separation of love from our work, our business, our money, finance, and investment, creates an empty space inside that no amount of sex, money, alcohol or food can fill.
My life is rich with love. Love everyday is time with my daughter, hugging my dog, walking the beach, seeing the sunrise, running, swimming, the morning coffee and reflection. Love is my friends, their steadfast commitment to doing amazing things with their lives to serve humanity. Love is the Earth…Nature…how it floors me again and again, for doing exactly the same thing again and again. And then for doing the spectacular and the humbling. For showing up, for persisting, for the weed that will keep poking its head through the crack in the pavement no matter how many times I pull it out. For freshly laundered sheets and falling asleep reading.
Love is being inspired by people who spend years, decades…working at their passion. Often with scant reward. Love is the great human endeavors, the striving, the never quitting. Love is not backing down when an injustice has been done…it is feisty and fearless. It never gives up, even when we do.
Love is so friggin awesome that without it we…us…humanity…are zero. No criminal or corrupt politician is completely absent of love. Only the sociopaths/psychopaths maybe…
Love is a common language, like music, that brings people together, always, in the end. And often, tragically, only at the end. Fools are we to fight when love is so completely present, all the time, below the noise of bombs and words.
We deny love in so many places. We keep it in a tight corner, separate from our daily lives. We protect it, hide it from being seen in us by others through projecting power or having our “sh%$&*” together, and other silly acts of useless bravado. We keep love apart. Sometimes because the dimension of love that we long for is so powerful, and so foreign to a love starved world, that we don’t know what else to do but hide it and us from the full measure of love.
How strange…when it really is the fuel and field of everything. Even more strange, that we know this to be so…when we wake in the dark hours…we know this.
And then we fight over it. We throw love back in the faces of those we love, using it as weapon. We become cruel, mean, nasty. All in the name of love. Yet this is not love…only our ill equipped cry for love in a world crying for love.
We need to bring love back into business. And we need to do so urgently. Business without love is a heartless shell, where people are reduced to numbers…consumers…slaves…commodities. Do you know how that feels? (Ah so sad that too many of us knows how this feels. And I would not be surprised, those who rule the game of power and money, as well, know how this feels in a different way.)
Do you know what it feels like to have your time colonised and measured, when you…the essential you…with capacity beyond even what you know, is left aside, an empty husk in the garbage of administrators administrating the administrators?
We view nature as something to extract from. Nature! To be valued simply for its resource, to discount entirely the beauty, the gifts, that Nature blesses us with every day. If we truly loved Nature and the Earth we could not do to her what we are doing. We couldn’t…it would violate our being. Somewhere, in the dark hours, it does violate our being. And we know this…
Indeed, where we view anything as something to extract from…our time…our energy…our health..another human… we leave love out of the conversation. Love and extraction cannot co-exist.
A business built on love would not rape the Earth, dig holes and create toxic waste products so as to make a ‘profit.’
A business built on love would not care less about people..those who work at the business and those the business serves.
A business built on love would not exploit and profit from the suffering of anyone or thing.
Beautiful Business – where people who deeply care about what they are giving their time, energy and passions to….creating amazing products and services that serve all of humanity in a way that ADDS value to, versus takes away from…these are the businesses we long for. And when we find them we celebrate and we feel for the briefest of moments, that there is hope.
Tired are we of work absent of love. Of business absent of love. Of publicly listed companies absent of love. Of a whole system that simply cannot have love be present, for if it did, the dissonance would be impossible to contain and collapse would be immanent.
We designed our corporate entities, our limited liabilities, our economic system, capitalism, banking, finance, health care, child care, venture capital, all without love.
What were we thinking? What are we thinking?
This is a call…to all of those who lie awake at 2:23AM…knowing deep in our bones that we are seeking to create Beautiful Business…this is a call to you, and me. We have an important job to do…and the time is now.
Love has everything to do with the world of business I seek to engage in. Love has everything to do with everything. Lets stop pretending otherwise.
Photo: Milly McDougall, age approximately 4 years, a rescue dog, the fullest expression of love on four legs you could imagine. She shows up in love with life and everyone she meets, every single day.