Business & Yoga Philosophy
The other day I had lunch with a colleague who is working for a NPO, i.e. a so-called Non-Profit-Organisation. As a coincidence, I also just happened to have been invited to a talk on female philanthropic work and the current tendency by “business and academia” to want to ‘professionalise’ all that good-will of these rich ladies.
As there tends to be a link between NPO and philanthropic work, let’s take a general look at NPOs. Personally, I find that the acronym ‘NPO’ has turned into something of a misnomer really – which is why it turns into a topic for a blog. Ehem.
The world has its latest scandal: VW. I won’t go into technical details as I don’t have the knowledge and anyway, I am a woman. I don’t have to understand the technical details, right? Sorry, just joking.
Anyway, what I do claim to understand though are the mechanics that drive huge corporations or any other huge system. Many huge corporations in any kind of industry have at one point or other been involved in some major scandal – from oil, pharma, food and banking industry to the latest scandal in the automobile industry. Why is that? We may very well ask and I am sure many do.
The other day there was an article in the paper (for those of us who read online it would have to read: “there was an article somewhere in the digital world of bits and bytes”…) referring to some research that a couple of economists had done with respect to possible effects of IT, robots, computer technology on unemployment. The upshot was that in the USA within the next 20 years approximately 47 % of the jobs would be replaced by computer technologies of various kinds.
First couple of questions
Similar numbers are foreseen for Germany and probably the rest of Europe. Without going into this article as such, a couple of questions, however, pop up. For instance: If we assume and agree that Computer technologies are replacing a millions of jobs, why then do we push the various technologies further? What is the purpose of knowingly affecting approx. 70 million employees alone in the USA to an extent where they need to fear for their very existence?
I have a few friends that love nothing more than to go scuba diving – preferably on the Maldives, Seychelles or some other island group with lots of sunshine. When I ask them about their fascination with diving it isn’t so much the sunny beaches (nice too of course) but the peace and quiet that they experience under water. Sure, the diversity of the fauna too is mentioned – but more as an add-on.
The main reason for diving seems to be the sense of quiet, of floating. When they mention that, my reaction is always the same: “you can have that for free, every day, as often as you want or need, right here.” Upon their quizzical look, I simply tell them: “meditate”. The reaction to that? – “Oh, I can’t do that. It is not for me. My mind is way too active.” – Hm. Besides this often heard answer, a friend the other day voiced another very important concern regarding meditation.
There is this lovely story about an Indian saint who boarded a train without a ticket. When the conductor passed by the saint obviously couldn’t produce ticket, so he was asked to leave the train. The saint then calmly sat under a tree and meditated. In the meantime the train wanted to continue its journey, but for some “unknown” reason it wouldn’t/couldn’t move. Realizing the problem they called back the saint onto the train and – surprise, surprise – the engine immediately started and the train began to move. – The morale of the story? – We’ll come to that later on.
A funny thing happened a few days ago as I was sitting in the train from Austria back home to Switzerland. I had just visited a dear friend with whom I spent a few days mainly meditating. Anyway, sitting in the train I all of a sudden realized that absolutely nothing is pulling me anymore towards being self-employed. It was simply gone.
Having been independent on that level for the last 8 years and also having had that desire ever since I was a teenager I suppose one could say that this revelation may have come as somewhat of a surprise. But then again, thinking about this more deeply, it isn’t really so surprising.
When I first started to work in New York over 20 years ago, my colleague next to me one day claimed that she was a professional. I forgot the reason why she said it but somehow she was totally and utterly annoyed and exasperated with her counterpart she had to deal with on the phone. – Theoretically, another professional. – Hm.
I just looked at her quizzically and did not really understand what the Americans meant by ‘being professional’. They kept repeating this term over the years and certainly, I did not understand why one had to state the hopefully obvious. After all, aren’t we supposed to be professional when we work for a salary? Isn’t that supposed to be a given?
This is the second blog in a short series of “de‘s”. Life is full of cycles: there are phases where everything is on the up-trend, then cycles of seeming stagnation and finally we also find these cycles where everything seems to be going down.
Depending on where we stand in a full cycle – i.e. up, stagnating or down – we need to adapt our economy accordingly.
Much has been written and talked about QE during the last few weeks. To be honest, for the past few years I haven’t really concerned myself much with macro-economic, monetary or debt policy.
So as I first heard the acronym QE I thought: “what the …. is QE?” I hadn’t a clue. Well. Thanks to Google and a couple of hours later it became a little clearer what the topic was.
In the recent history we have seen a few incidents where similar effects were sought by somehow inundating the economy with fresh money. The idea has always been the same: increase investments and get the economy going. Whether you name these policies Marshall Plan, big push theories or QE it amounts to the same: Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
The other day the news headlines all over the world read more or less the same: India’s PM Modi appoints a Minister of Yoga. By reclaiming its spiritual and cultural heritage before others may snatch it away from India, it has definitely put itself back on the map!