‘As a man thinketh, so is he’
- We’ve all heard that before - do we really believe it? Do we really grasp that this world we live in is a byproduct...of who we decide we are?
As she thinketh in her heart, so is she.
There’s this notion that we’ve had stuck in our heads for so long - that the invisible hand of capitalism had to be a selfish hand, a hand without sympathy - that it simply wouldn’t work any other way.
But what if that were wrong? What if that’s not true, and never has been?
People say a business’s purpose is to make money, but it’s not: a business’s purpose is to fill a need for the market, and they get to thrive, as a byproduct of how well they can do that.
that’s what the invisible hand actually is - that dance of cause and effect aligning our individual self interests with the common good: ‘I get to benefit because I have given value to others.’
Instead of comprehending that, we persisted in the comforting delusion that there was a safe-distances in time and space between us, and whoever might bear the pain of our choices, and we fed ourselves the false narrative that the market somehow turned our selfishness into more hidden good than the harm we could clearly see it causing...…so we simply don’t see, because it’s so easy not to.
But the world is shrinking, and the world is suffering, and we must look. Those distances are no longer safe for any of us. There’s no room any more for fairy tales about the consequences of our actions.
We are left at a choice: If we keep telling the story that the market requires the exploitation of the invisible and the poisoning of our earth...then that is what will be. But...if we start to tell another story; that their interests are our interests...then that is what will be.
What we believe is the crux of it. The market will work just the same; maybe the dirty secret is it will work even better, free to focus on the needs of all its stakeholders. Maybe the dirty secret...is there is a world richer than we can even imagine...sitting just on the other side of our foolish notion that we have to be unkind to each other to prosper.
...that is the secret: that capitalism, like any ism...is nothing more, and nothing less than the magnifier of our intent. It will be whatever it is...because of what we are. It does not make us, but only reveals us to ourselves.
But if we quit now? If we stand by as innocents suffer and our world wanes, and say ‘the market can do so many great things, but not this one most urgent thing’ ...then all we have revealed is the limits of our own vision and humanity.
The long and short of it...is we are the ones who choose. What we believe...is all that seals our fate.
As we thinketh in our hearts...so are we
...And maybe it’s time we think a new thought.
- THE LAUDATO SI CHALLENGE -
for more information go to laudatosichallenge.org/