(or running a business while the world is crashing around you)
There are two philosophies when it comes to business. One is that you don’t say anything about your beliefs, religion, or politics, lest you offend a potential customer, or drive current customers away. The other, the one I subscribe to, is that these are core values, and they can’t be separated from either me or my business. So here is where I stand. I’m not afraid of differing opinions. I’m more than willing to have a good debate (ask anyone who knows me well, I live to debate), or a philosophical discussion. What I will not tolerate, and will call out every time, is bigotry and intolerance. I will not tolerate racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia or any other kind of intolerance. (And no, calling out intolerance is not intolerant, but nice try there). I fully support equal rights for all my fellow humans. Rights are not pie. Giving someone else equal rights does not diminish any of yours. If you feel that you are losing something in the process, that’s privilege, not rights. Because that means that you were taking pride in being better than someone else. AND THAT? That’s how we got in this mess in the first place. I try to uphold these principals to the best of my ability. Sometimes I fail. Sometimes that failure is huge and glaring and horrible. But to quote Maya Angelou, “When we know better, we do better”.
I spent the early morning attending the closing service of the UUA (Unitarian Universalist Association) General Assembly, at the behest of a dear friend Rina Jurceka who is incredibly involved with the church, as well as being a UU administrator. The universe brought Rina and I together in just such a way that when we met, we formed a deep and lifelong friendship. The past few months I have been struggling. Struggling with the state of our world. Struggling with my fellow humans seeming inhumanity to other humans. More on that in another post.
Social justice is at the core of UU philosophy. As is compassion, acceptance, and equality. I was raised in the Christian tradition of Lutheranism, what was then the Lutheran Church in America, now the ELCA. We had a strong tradition of social justice. This had a profound influence on my development as a human being. As I got older and moved into the larger community, I became exposed to more ideals and religions. I’d like to think I’ve drawn the best out of all of those philosophies.
This is all a complicated and long way of saying that these ideals are a part of my core, and of my business core. I’m looking forward to having all on this journey with me.