Primitive Vs Holistic - Ego-centric vs Eco-centric
by Cyrus Mehta
(a letter to the Editor of a local newspaper in Dubai in 2005, it was not published)
I was absolutely appalled on Donald Trump citing his views during the symposium of entrepreneurs last week. "When someone does you in, you go after them get them and hit them hard. It's good for self esteem" "Don't trust anyone" "Be paranoid"!
Is this 2005 or 100,000 years BCE?
This is a primitive thought process - Neanderthal!
The view of this real estate and investment tycoon who amasses wealth by his aggressive "survival of the fittest" approach is a sign of a system that has lost its way. By system I mean capitalism as we know it. I would like to think that his voice is a minority, though my awareness says that the reverse is more likely. How do people give credence to such a ridiculous approach?
His comments brought up to the fore my humanity which has been and continues to be scrutinized by me vigilantly, day after day. I have done the business school stuff, graduated Cum Laude, worked in a multinational, etc. Then I initiated this entrepreneurial drive into India offering the finest technology to eliminate contaminated drinking water in the rural areas, other eco-friendly technologies to eliminate human exposure to hazardous environments like the inside of a crude oil storage tank or tanker, a nuclear power reactor.
With fledgling success at best! Largely because of those with vested and special interests who would try to scuttle the deal. Bureaucrats who spend more time shuffling files with an intent only to preserve their 'seat' from one govt. to another, stifling creative thought. Others, in public office, under oath to serve the public first, are more interested in exploiting their position to enrich themselves and their families. Competitors, who, in spite of knowing that our technology is superior, used their behind-the-scene skills to kill the transactions.
That's the environment Donald Trump would thrive in whereas my own ethics and good conscience would intercede. Where he may work on 'all that is necessary to get the deal,' I would not be willing to sacrifice my integrity, honour and my commitment for the highest good of all concerned. Where he would choose to be distrustful as the rule, I became smarter each time I was cheated, and maintained my trusting nature by choice.
One the other hand, you have Anita Roddick, who also spoke at the symposium in Dubai . What a woman! What a Human Being! Hers is a vision that will help to transform the world. Her vision is one that you and I ought to have. Her vision and entrepreneurial drive created a multi million dollar company. The Body Shop, now a public company, which still operates with her vision of the way Big Business needs to operate - radically different from the 'profit first, profit last' context of operation in most corporations.
She operates from a holistic point of view. She inspires me. She will inspire you! Visit her website, www.anitaroddick.com. Join forces with her. Visit the websites that are linked to hers.
There is a one basic contextual shift that needs to occur if we, humanity, can be sustained by our Living Planet.
Currently, we live with a You OR I context, at all levels, individual, family, community, corporate and inter-nation. We treat each other like we are from different planets! Such views are espoused by Donald Trump and his ilk, while the planet and the majority of humanity are sliding down a precipice.
Unless a shift to a You AND I context is made, life as we know it could disappear in just a few generations.
We need to think holistically - by which I mean all-inclusive. A view which holds, that we are all in this together, as humanity.
One Humanity-One Planet! This context is the only way there will be a world where our grandchildren will have an opportunity to thrive and live happy and satisfying lives. Anita Roddick's life, mine and indeed, many others operate in a You AND I context. Where our inspiration and happiness emanate from work and human interaction which makes the world a better place for all.
This is a quote from an article she put up this month on her website titled "Slavery is NOT History". " 12.3 million People worldwide are enslaved. That's more than the entire population of the state of Georgia in the United States or the entire nation of Cambodia . That is more than the historic population of the great Incan Empire. The labour of these modern slaves provide their "employers" with upwards of $30 billion a year in pure profit, and more than 50% of those profits go into the pockets of businessmen and corporations based in the U.S. and Europe. We should all be nauseated by the numbers".
A gentleman, Gary Day, wrote to 7 Days on April 7th about how Dubai 's meteoric growth has been on the backs of lowly paid labour. It was a comment that I wanted to applaud. I take this opportunity to acknowledge Gary Day for speaking the truth. He suffers just like any human would suffer when he sees his fellow men being treated so inhumanely and unfairly, while a minority lives in comfort. Deplorable!
Just today we hear about major charities also succumbing to the need for profit and contracting 'sweat shops' in China for millions of dollars worth of bracelets to be worn for a life affirming cause. If that is not 'Irony' then I don't know what is.
I have been reading letters flying thick and fast about opinions on peoples' dress codes. For pete's sake, we need to focus on real issues that are threatening our existence as a species on a planet that is being destroyed by us, rather than dress codes. Tribes in Africa, Asia, South America and South East Asia live naked, revere the land and respect each other and all other human beings. Would that be an affront to any religion? What utter nonsense. All religions, at their core, recognise that there needs to be tolerance and an acceptance of diversity and this, when practiced, will lead to peace. These tribes are doing exactly what their culture prescribes. So, are they heathens? There IS only one God, by any name. And Gods love is unconditional. And how one dresses, how one prays, are preferences we make, individually. And every human is free to do so.
Like the survival of our planet and our species, our individual freedom is also under threat. There is no one way to God that is better than another. Those who think like that are not in touch with their humanity. What is needed most is a sense of Humanity. Humanism - stressing an individual's dignity and worth and capacity for self-realization through reason. There are as many ways to interact with God as the number of people on the planet. Every individual's path is his/her path. Why do we get into semantics? Why do we constantly jostle for positions of advantage. It smacks of the You OR I context and that does not work.
There are more pressing issues that need our attention rather than the pros and cons on hijabs and bikinis. The whole universe is one big body of God. Everything is Divine. Life is Divine. We should have respect for each other, for the earth without pre-conditions.
Anita Roddick and many others experience that and live their lives in an exemplary manner.
On the other end of the spectrum is the way of Donald Trump and the legions of carpetbaggers and multinational corporations where 'survival of the fittest' is the motto, where a You OR I, dog-eat-dog context is in full maturity. It is deeply painful to me that this approach is more prevalent at this time.
Donald Trumps way is primitive, life depleting. Approaches taken by Anita Roddick, Neale Donald Walsch, and thousands of other individuals and companies are holistic and life enhancing. Alas, even while our numbers grow by the day, we are, as yet, still a minority - nevertheless, an effervescent one with unending tenacity.
Some of us have been working on this for a long time, educating people on this for a long time: That the only sustainable path for humanity can ultimately only be a 'You AND I' context. Or else life as we know it will disappear. The You OR I approach is killing the planet.
My own personal agenda has been to Transform Man's Environment, both Inner and Outer and I have been working with this for over 20 years.
I leave you with a quote by George Soros, the well known billionaire financier whose skill in playing with hedge funds is the stuff of legend. And this is addressed primarily to all those who endorse the You OR I context, the EGO-Centric versus the ECO-Centric. To let you know, that there are those in your camp who are fast realising that the "survival of the fittest/wealthiest" approach is not working.
This is what he says in an article a few years ago in an article published in the Guardian News Services:
"Insofar as there is a dominant belief in our society today, it is the belief of the market-place. The doctrine of laissez-faire capitalism holds that the common good is best served by the uninhibited pursuit of self-interest. Unless this is tempered with the recognition of a common interest that ought to take precedence over particular interests, our present system- which, however imperfect, qualifies as an open society - is liable to break down."
That is a man who has seen the inequality, the drug of greed, man's incessant oppression and has evolved by recognising his humanity. His words show his vote towards a holistic, eco-centric context, where one's Humanity comes first and all other preferences are secondary.