EVERYTHING IS POLITICAL FIATColumn 070
I've been thinking about corporations here in the U. S. of A. Big corporations, little ones, really tiny ones and all sizes in between. Don't let that cute opening sentence fool you, I have very serious thoughts burning up my brain power. I've been thinking about “social responsibility” as of late. How corporations, businesses and business managers do have a larger role to fulfill as “good corporate citizen.” Now I'm not going to start preaching about tales of Euro-socialist state driven corporate decisions, far from it. The fact is we do live in a global economy and we have for many 1000s of years, seriously. Ever since Syrian and Persian tribes would attack trade convoys coming from Ethiopia, Egypt or other empires, we've had international influence on all “local” business.
Companies big and small, have moved to sexy sounding terms like “H R department” and Gray areas of the law. You have a harassment case that comes up, per say, and everyone including management knows who the offending party is. If there literally is no smoking gun, bloody knife, the actual nail put into a tire, than hey, tough luck. Used to be you could just fire someone if they harassed, injured or made improper advances on another employee.
Now corporations are worried about civil suits, the accused party suing and so on. Rather we see an employee scared to drive their own vehicle to work, look in the wrong direction of management or cross someone on the wrong day, than just solve the problem by giving a guilty party their walking papers.
What a mess. That gets under my skin, irks me and makes me mad. What also gets me mad is when business owners shrug off their responsibilities as corporate citizen to the society around them. I'm talking small stuff here. Business owners do have a social responsibility to be good neighbors and good to customers. Lets say your business makes $1 million a year. You have one family come in that just cannot settle a $100 bill due to the fact that there is no more money left, after a family tragedy. Now this of course, is not the business owners problem, but hold on and think about it. You help a family out by waiving 50 bucks off that bill, and you will gain it back a thousand fold in karma, word of mouth and knowing that you took notice of a larger society you help to nurture.
Am I a dreamer? I know the stuff a put down sometimes makes the reader scratch their head. I make myself wonder all the time about what i wrote. If you think I'm kidding call the Echo, and ask them about e-mails they get from me with the subject line stating “ column re-edited”, as I'm praying I squeeze it in under the copy deadline.
Even myself as a small business person, when it comes to my little website and my newsletter. I don't make any money at all ( but i sure keep plugging away). Still i try and do my part by helping out charities when I have some hours of O/T from my 4 – 12 job. I'll help out a new author or public office candidate and run their ads on my website for free. Its not that hard, to be a good corporate citizen, and you feel good about just doing it.
I have a tremendous amount of respect for Bill Gates and his foundation. A glaring good example of a businessman who is literally using his billions to save lives around the globe. This all works together as we move society and the human animal to a higher plane. As we expand on what is current and ask ourselves, what can i do, as a business, to bring compassion and safety to a workplace. To bring understanding and decency to all business decisions.
I am not a dreamer, I am a small business guy wide awake and noticing the community and world around me.
That person out there on the street is your brother or sister, and you best open your door, smile and say “ how can I help?”