If there is one thing missing in the world, it is compassion. Too often we are preoccupied with our own needs and fail to see that others require help. This is because many of us are guided by our egos, which takes us to places where we only see one rather than the whole.
In many ways, we can say that the ego is based in passion. While passion is a great thing to have in many aspects, it can also be a hindrance. That is because with passion, we are often focusing on our own pleasure and benefit. When we are passionate about something it can translate into being a benefit for the self rather than for others. People are passionate about their own projects, work or significant others.
I think of passion as akin to having a fever. When a person has a fever, he or she often cannot think clearly and is not conscious in a way because the illness is controlling them. It is the same with passion. As a result, a person in this state cannot make decisions in a rational manner. A person who is unconscious can often take extreme measures resulting in disaster.
Compassion, on the other hand, is completely selfless because it focuses on others. For too long, passion has been an underlying factor in running businesses. While this can be a positive factor in a company’s success, passion is too often solely directed toward making as much profit as possible.
When I was young, I had a tendency to study nature for hours. This gave me a sense of calmness and wonder. I would also watch local weavers in my village intently. There was an intense connection between the weavers and my surrounding. This endeavor began as a passion for the weavers’ art and slowly transformed into compassion for them.
Once I began operating with compassion in mind, I realized that love is the basis of everything. No matter how much name and fame our company attains, if we do not have love as the foundation of our efforts, then this or any other organization will not be sustainable in the long run.
Thankfully, an increasing number of organizations are beginning to incorporate compassion. These conscious capitalists are realizing that in order to create sustainable businesses they must transition their targets from profits to people.
It took me some time to reach the stage of accepting compassion as the basis of our organization. After my children joined our family business and the company began to expand. As businesses expand, problems also increase.
It would have been easy for me to abandon my dream of sustaining a business based on love and compassion and instead follow a road that would lead to a more financially beneficial scenario. However, I could not abandon my original mission of running a business with compassion. I realized that if I lose sight of the artisans – and of love and compassion – then my organization would never be sustainable.
Compassion allows me to stay grounded. If I took a different route I may have more fame and money but eventually the ego would lead me to crash and burn. That is not how I want to live my life or run my organization. Companies built on compassion and love are the ones who have a bright and sustainable future.