Unity Helps Business (and Vice Versa)

In the wisdom of Stephen Covey, Sr., let us begin with the end in mind. The end is unity and peace. Whose soul after the on-going charades in Washington, the divisive language in the White House, and the disability of Congress to do anything other than hold firm to party lines; preceded by the protests and violence over what most observe as racially motivated police brutality is not yearning for unity and peace. My soul both mourns and yearns.

When was our society more divided about matters of substance to our people and the world who look to America to be the last and greatest hope for the world? Social media and news outlets have enabled, if not rewarded an outrage culture without any accountability for what is said, true or not. We return to the proverbial Pavlovian dog dish of social media when our nerves and mind finally relax, just to have our heart rate and anxiety peak again. We join the throngs of activists unmoored from consequences of being wrong as if our input matters to anyone other that those who “like” us within our congruent feedback loop. Unity and peace remain unmoved.

As Christians, our lives are governed by a new covenant that says turn the other cheek; not exchange an eye for an eye. Our new covenant also expects us to love our neighbor as ourselves, after loving our God with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. In the heavy discourse of substantial divisive themes like racism, police brutality, party-line politics, and an unwillingness to listen to contrary points of view with an intent to understand before being understood (another tip of the hat to Mr. Covey), violations of these basic tenets or commands fuel unrest and disunity.

So, if unity and peace are the endgame, is it as simple as loving God and loving your neighbor? Yes, in words it is simple. Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “I wouldn’t give a fig for the simplicity on this side of complexity, but I’d give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity.” We must fight through the complexity to get to that which is simple again, but that fight will require Christians, especially Christian business leaders, to stake claim to the simplicity on the other side. In a recent Religion & Liberty journal article from the Acton Institute, Ben Johnson, Executive Editor, made this simple yet correct proclamation. “Business unites.”

In coming posts, I’ll share some thoughts and solicit your ideas and opinions on the role business plays in bringing unity and peace to our world. Topics will include racism, structural racism, violence as a solution, virtuous capitalism, and much more. So much of this disunity evidences a loss of hope. If America is to continue to be the hope of the world, we must not lose hope in ourselves. Robert Heilbroner shared that a socially stable society is a prerequisite for an economically successful one. Don’t be shocked when a significant part of the solution to the unrest and disunity in our world falls into the lap of business leaders. Notice I didn’t say business was the cause. The Church teaches we as business leaders are part of the solution, not part of the problem. Are you up for the challenge?

Image: K U Flickr

 

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Dave Geenens

Dave Geenens is an Associate Professor and is the Assistant Director of the Thompson Center for Integrity in Finance and Economics in the School of Business at Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas. His over 30-years of executive experience in addition to his Bachelor’s Degree, MBA, and CPA license (inactive) add a realism to his research and teaching. Dave has written four books and speaks often on the integration of faith and work and the critical role Christian virtue plays in protecting free markets and liberty. Since Dave writes on multiple topics including investing and philanthropy, nothing in this article is to be construed as investment advice and any investment of any kind includes a risk of loss.