There are numerous articles and blogs being posted along the theme of “how can business or the economy be different when we get passed the pandemic”. Reimagine…rethink…and other sentiments that determine that we can’t allow business and the economy to return to the inequality and excess that has left so many behind, is destroying our collective home and that has completely detached people’s actions from their values.
While I agree with all of this, I don’t agree with the focus. Instead, we need to build a sentiment focused on people. After all, businesses, governments and all other organizations are made up of people and it is how we all collectively show up that will bring the change we want to see.
I titled this article “resist with kindness”, and I really think that is what we all need to do, not just at work, but in our daily lives in everything we do. Resist expecting your online order to turn up the next day, resist fast fashion, resist chemicals in your food, resist buying from or working with any organization that isn’t thinking of a larger purpose in everything they do. In fact, resist anything that is hurting our community of people or our planet, but do it with kindness.
It’s not about us being good and them being bad. For 99% of people in the world it’s likely built on either a mismatch of understanding or privilege, so have good intentions, believe the best in people, but still resist.
When you return to work today, tomorrow, next month or whenever, remember to resist – you don’t have to be the CEO to show up with a different perspective. You can change things at whatever level you work. Many small actions lead to larger cultural changes and common values that drive organizations to behave differently.
Being more environmentally conscious; well that’s an easy sell within an organization. The mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle have a different term that even the most determined bean-counter can get behind – efficiency. More resources cost more money, waste is just that, and being able to do more with what you have means more money saved. It’s just about changing the context and helping people understand.
If you’re buying anything for you or your business, why not do more with the dollars you spend? Every time you get your credit card out, pause for a second and think about what you are buying, and from whom. There are great, purpose-driven companies selling everything you could possibly need, and also actually adding benefit to their communities or the planet in many ways. So why would you buy from a company that is paying their workers peanuts, being harmful to people’s wellbeing or causing pollution to our air, water or lands?
It’s really your choice to perpetuate the situation or resist and help change the landscape of business by being intentional in having a broader social impact with your buying decisions. And remember do it with kindness – don’t just change your buying decision; tell the business why you are choosing to go elsewhere so they can also understand.
This forced period of reflection has a lot of us thinking how we want things to be different, in our work or lives in general. We shouldn’t be looking to “business” or “government” to make this happen – those are nebulous terms that remove our own accountability. This requires a mass movement of resistance from us as people and we all have the power to be that change, every day.
If you’re in an organization that wants to change to align purpose in your work, engage people in improving your impact and work toward a happier global community, reach out to Light Trail.