Until recently empathy was not particularly valued in the workplaces that focused on competition, hard work and efficiency. Now empathy is finally being valued as a great catalyst to workplace relationships, creativity and many aspects of a healthy bottom line. Continue reading
Every now and then, a fellow human does something so awesome that it drives us to tears of joy and gratitude. If we take the time to ponder the whole miracle, we see not just the outward act of compassion or vision or courage. We see also some of the miracles done by others –known and unknown — that support the current miracle.
Such a miracle is happening now around Pakvilai Sudhaswin of Oakland, CA and Johnnie Woods of Seattle, WA. Right about now, they should be landing in Baltimore, MD, one step closer to Johnnie’s donation of a healthy kidney to Pak. Kaiser Permanente, Pak’s insurer, will pay the costs of Pak’s care at The Incompatible Kidney Transplant Program at Johns Hopkins.
In reporting this to you, I pray you will add your prayers not just to Pak and Johnnie, but to all others who need healing, and to all who support them. I pray that in seeing some of the many blessings of their story, you appreciate more of the blessings in your own life, and see how you can act more from your own capacity to bless others. Continue reading
Every decision has a cost, which is usually more than just the published cost of an item or service. Sometimes, while trying to save money in the short run, we actually spend more in the long run. Sometimes, “free” things cost a lot. And sometimes inaction has a cost, spiritually and emotionally as well as financially.
While we are accustomed to thinking about expenditures only as spending money, there are also such costs and potential benefits as impact on time, health, relationships, and ability to live purposefully. Thus, the wise choice considers more than just money in calculating ROI (return on investment). Continue reading
The world’s religions are filled with practical spirituality on how to earn, spend, save, invest and share money. There’s abundant ancient and ever-new wisdom for how to work with less stress and more meaning … how your workplace can be a center of peace and compassion — not fraud, waste or abuse. And more. Much, much more.
Over the past 14 years, it’s been my great pleasure to interview hundreds of people about how their work and their spirituality support each other. The great world religions scholar Huston Smith, graciously granted an interview of some basic tenets in each faith. Individuals have added their own rich insights, providing a marvelous, ever-growing picture of the many ways to put spiritual values to work everyday. Continue reading
Nothing messes more with real spirituality, with real positive approaches to life, work or money than phoney or illusory positive thinking.
Distorted positive thinking can cost you money, sleep, your job, peace of mind, and maybe your life. It can also be a catalyst or enabler of fraud, waste and abuse on an individual or social scale.
Even the best models of positive thinking, like The Little Engine That Could, can be distorted. Yes, many obstacles can be overcome and dreams can be built when we affirm, “I think I can,” then follow through with action and stay on track. But sometimes, wisdom and integrity call us to accept what we can’t do. Sometimes, our best path is to go off track, even if we don’t yet know the best path to follow next.
However, if you anchor positive thinking in reality, then give it due diligence, you’ve always got the start of something great. Continue reading
Monastic life in all faiths is ordered around prayer. Such prayer sets the rhythm for each day. It keeps members focused on the mission of the order and the life of the community, as well as the spiritual life of each member.
I spent 13 years in the Discalced Carmelite monastic order, which traces its origins to hermits living on Mt. Carmel in the 13th century. As is the case with most religious orders, the Discalced Carmelites prayed together at least six times a day on a regular schedule, using Latin names for the hours. These were also known as Canonical hours, because they have been used by all orders in the Roman Catholic Church for many centuries.
As our Muslim friends have so ably demonstrated, prayer can also provide the framework for secular life, including busy workdays. Inspired by what I learned in the monastery and from the example of Muslims, I adapted the canonical hours to my spiritual practices. Continue reading
You wouldn’t know it from the major media, but more compassionate, more sustainable and way more ethical capitalism is thriving. Or, as many call it, “Conscious Capitalism.” Now there are some very easy ways to bring yourself up to speed in how the conscious capitalism movement can impact your individual work, your business and/or your finances.
Just What is Conscious Capitalism and Why Is It So Beneficial to Us All?
The conveners of last summer’s conference on conscious capitalism at Bentley University offered these three key elements of conscious capitalism:
- companies have a purpose that transcends profit maximization;
- companies are managed for the benefit of all stakeholders in their ecosystem, not just shareholders; and
- companies are led by spiritually evolved, self-effacing servant leaders. Continue reading