We live in a time of extraordinary change. This turmoil reflects, in part, a revolution in how we see our world: our growing consciousness of the oneness of humanity and the emerging consensus that justice should be the ruling principle of social organization.
These shifts in perspective are driving us to reconceptualize every aspect of the system of human relationships. This blog sets out to explore what that means in the workplace.
I come at this from a Bahá’í perspective, and have long been an admirer of the EBBF’s Make It Meaningful campaign. But if this blog has a single inspiration, it would be The Prosperity of Humankind, a Statement by the Bahá’í International Community published for the UN’s 1995 World Summit For Social Development in Copenhagen.
Commenting on the search for a new ‘work ethic’, that Statement frames work in the context of service and the advancement of civilization:
“Nothing less than insights generated by the creative interaction of the scientific and religious systems of knowledge can produce so fundamental a reorientation of habits and attitudes. Unlike animals, which depend for their sustenance on whatever the environment readily affords, human beings are impelled to express the immense capacities latent within them through productive work designed to meet their own needs and those of others. In acting thus they become participants, at however modest a level, in the processes of the advancement of civilization. They fulfill purposes that unite them with others.”
It sets out the Bahá’í conception that work undertaken in a spirit of service to humanity is a form of worship, then goes on to propose that re-imagining work in this way is linked to our success in building a fairer world:
“Every individual has the capacity to see himself or herself in this light, and it is to this inalienable capacity of the self that development strategy must appeal, whatever the nature of the plans being pursued, whatever the rewards they promise. No narrower a perspective will ever call up from the people of the world the magnitude of effort and commitment that the economic tasks ahead will require.”
I welcome your thoughts and comments. I hope this might become a lively forum for discussion (and would love to become simply the curator). I absolutely do not have all the answers. This is about all of us.
PS I’ve adopted Oxford spelling. I’m a Brit writing from Berkshire, England. Oxford spelling is the style guide for the UN and its agencies – so it seems like a reasonable compromise.