Become A Life Balance Master

Business and the Buddha

Doing Well by Doing Good

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Let me state right up front: I know nothing about Buddhism, except for the image of the Buddha as a jolly fellow with a belly you can rub for good luck, and the image of monks with shaved heads. It always seemed to me that Buddhism was a lifestyle choice as much as a religion, and it was theoretically inspirational, but practically difficult to incorporate into our lifestyle. Field, a former corporate VP-HR, does an admirable job explaining basic Buddhist concepts, and interweaving them into Western capitalist realities. Today, when many investors are looking for more than a good ROI, and questioning a company’s ethics and environmental practices, the human values that are embraced by Buddhism may well be the next testing ground. Field takes on historical icons, looks at where that has gotten us, then extrapolates the benefits that a business-beyond-profit model would generate. I remain slightly sceptical. When Field talks about the “Cause No Harm” principle, for example, I find myself debating loopholes–is it possible for a company to never “be harmful to any sentient being or to the environment”? I doubt it–but the debate is entirely worthwhile, and the world is better for having asked the questions.

 

Lisa Sansom