Wednesday, 25 August 2010

"Taking Ownership' and other corporate double-speak.

The tyrant wants to be all encompassing. He wants to control your physical movements, how you spend your time and even what you think.

In 'The West', we now believe that we have a large measure of political freedom. Yet, our lives are very much controlled by the small number of global businesses that have huge sway, even over national governments.

Tyranny have become more subtle. It is not people's lives or families that are physically threatened. Rather, people are managed through the the arousal of non-essential needs, the counter part of which is readily available credit to the most compliant of consumers.

People's 'souls' are at risk.

Competition is encouraged. By wanting to 'better' our neighbors, impetus is given to the buying mechanism. Technological development means that the desire to have the latest gadgets are short lived. If on Tuesday, we have the latest and greatest new mobile phone in the market, by Saturday our neighbor may have upgraded to the newest car model.

In competition, winning is short lived. Yet, the fear of failure is all-encompassing.

In the workplace, our boss may whisper in our ear about 'taking ownership' for our performance. The notion of taking ownership, however, can so very easily be a form of double-speak. It may mean, accepting all directives from above without question. All this term actually means, is taking responsibility for arbitrary targets, set in a artificial meeting room by middle managers, who on the whole manage statistical outcomes, not people.

Large business may also have a commitment to charity. The whole notion of charity is a superficial one. It does not concern itself with the notion of social justice, but with delivering outcomes for the most impoverished or needy of world citizens. The 'caring side' of business, must therefore be taken with a huge pinch of salt. It is against big business interest to have the open wounds of the most impoverished in our society uncared for. This would raise questions would about the structure of the society in which we live. That is against big business interest.

"Don't bite the hand that feeds.'

The ambiguity of a caring-exploitive framework is sure to confuse. 'You say that we exploit our workers and our customers but the business every year donates twenty million to charities." "You say that we are unconcerned about our workforce but we have support mechanisms, such as contributory health schemes and a free counseling service available to everyone."

One of the biggest lies is that thinking positively can change your life. One of my favorite film scenes is Monty Python's 'Life of Brian.' Brian, at the end of the film is on the cross. He and the others being crucified start singing, "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life.' It is the equivalent of putting your head in the sand. Whistle and ignore the pain and things will get better, remembering to ignore the centurion hammering the nail through your bloody and quivering hand.

Life can be tough but taking responsibility does not mean taking ownership for pre-subscribed outcomes.

Like Jesus in the market place, it is okay to be angry. Anger can be fueled by the injustices that we witness in our everyday lives.

Taking ownership means having a commitment to truth. To be committed to truth is about developing a questioning frame of mind; not in order to display a superior intelligence, so that we might advance in our career- but so that we can learn to appreciate the beauty of the simple things and be in awe of our very existence.

It is always easier not to question. We might then resemble happy people.

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