II Let the Body Catch Up with the Soul
Instead of widening the girth of the four business pillars, we should consider to connect them all with a seat which improves comfort and reach. It may be time to combine the doctrine of capitalism with the insights of wisdom and philosophy. We believe the connection represents the soul of business.
In the court of Solomon during the monarchic period of the 10th century BCE, Genesis 2:7 describes that a living soul was seen to denote a living person. Shouldn’t a living soul also denote a living business? In the 8th century BCE, a royal official from Sam’al named Kuttamuwa ordered an inscribed stele erected upon his death. The inscription requested that his mourners commemorate his life and his afterlife with feasts “for my soul that is in this stele”. It seems not reasonable to have business as an entity consist of living people which also reflect to living souls. If the soul is removed from a living person, the person dies; if the soul is removed from a business, the business dies. The soul of business might well be a separate entity capstoning the non-soul business model taken up by many firms. A soul guides business to see itself, just as already raised by the bible, as part of a whole, past, present and future and to become prosocial, holistic and humanistic both externally in the social sphere and internally in the management environment.
Christianity in the West has shed the light of Catholic moral tradition onto business ethics with Christians endeavoring to do their duties honestly and going beyond what they must do diligently and not taking actions simply because they can be taken. Pope Benedict XVI wrote “Christians oppose greed and exploitation out of a conviction that generosity and selfless love, as taught and lived by Jesus of Nazareth, are the way that leads to fullness of life. The belief in the transcendent destiny of every human being gives urgency to the task of promoting peace and justice for all.”
Taoism in the East emphasizes the necessity to consciously experience ourselves, listen to both our inner voices and to the voices of our environment in a non-interfering and receptive manner. Lao Tzu tabled the concept of “wu wei” for centuries, which is literally translated as “non-doing”: If one leaves the people alone and lets them get on with it, social problems will resolve themselves — because political interference is more often the cause of such problems than their solution, as was certainly the case during the Warring States period.
East or West, these wisdoms are inspiring the modern world with one single lesson in our value systems: Slow down the steps of profit making and let the soul catch up with the body! To have soul isn’t some business skill that is “nice to have”. Rather it provides guidance for companies to align their principles with a mission and vision. A soul is noticeable in the organization, affecting all members of the team.