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.
Elections are coming up soon in Switzerland. This means that we are being inundated with hundreds of smiling faces behind smart suits representing some three letter acronym advertising in a few short words what they stand for. Hm.
The other day I happened to whiz by one such poster. As it was an 80 km/h zone I only chanced to see a few faces with a smile on their face and a slogan that read: “we are going to fight for you”. – Huh? Are we under attack?
This last weekend has seen a couple of great Tennis players at the US Open. This in itself is nothing extraordinary, as there are many great players. However, this week-end was different insofar as we were reminded what sport is all about. This was shown so wonderfully by the two Italian finalists.
It is the second week of the US Open, i.e. the 4th Tennis Grand Slam Tournament of the year. Tennis has changed a lot over the years and has become a power play par excellence. And so it is interesting to observe how one of the American commentators in one sentence mirrored the thoughts of a current reality.
The other day a dear friend came to dinner and at one point she talked about a lecture she had heard at work by a Yoga teacher. Obviously, the topic was Yoga. However, in this case the lecturer apparently did not really focus too much about what Yoga is or is not. Rather, he mentioned all the advantages Yoga has in various aspects of life, underlying these known facts with studies conducted around the world.
Then, he proceeded to show pictures of a person going into certain physical positions such as the headstand. The aim was clear and the effect followed in its wake. The audience – mainly managers, consultants, etc. – was duly impressed. Hm.
In the northern Hermisphere we are going towards autumn and the markets are – as so often – on the down. In fact, just this morning on various online news they were fearing a “Black Monday”, as the stock exchanges around the globe are pointing in one direction: down.
And – who knows – maybe it is or it isn’t a ‘so-called black Monday’. I don’t want to go into the ins and outs of the “why, how and who is to blame”-mechanism that invariably starts when something untoward happens in the world.
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.