This Sums It Up For Me

I came across this quote by Thich Nhat Hanh in his book “The Art of Power”  that sums up pretty much how I have been feeling lately about life in these American States; from the economic crisis to Exxon-Mobil’s 2nd record breaking quarter in a row, from the divisive election campaigns to the ICE raids on undocumented immigrants.  This quote offers us an opportunity to finding a way out.  It’s not an easy way out, but definitely a way out.

“We are not elected to Congress to fight only for our ideas. Your idea may be superb, but it might still be improved by the ideas of other people.  Regardless of what party a person belongs to, if she has a real insight, we should practice deep listening to really hear her.  If she is fighting only for her own idea we will know it clearly, but if she has a real insight we must be open to it.  Listening in this way will help Congress become a community where there is mutual understanding, mutual sharing.  Our democracy will be safer.  The integrity of the individual and the integrity of our institutions will be saved; otherwise there is only the appearance of democracy, not real democracy.  When you are not yourself, when you are not operating on the ground of your insight, your compassion, your experience, when you have to speak and vote soley along party lines, you are not truly yourself, you are not offering your best to your nation and your people.  The aspiration to offer our best is there in each of us.  We should help each be our best, because only then can we truly serve our people and our nation.

Just as politicians need to collaborate with those in opposing political parties, businesspeople can learn to collaborate with and learn from other companies rather than competing with them.  Communication is important, not just within a company but between companies.  It is possible to replace competition with cooperation and collaboration. If the leaders of corporations get together and practice looking deeply into the situation of the world to develop the products that best serve society, they will be able to devise mutually beneficial policies and working conditions. If they become sensitive to the suffering of humankind and the suffering of other species, they’ll be able to come together without fighting.” 

May it be so.

Published in: on November 1, 2008 at 11:13 am  Comments Off on This Sums It Up For Me  
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