Walt Whitman once said, “People who serve you without love get even behind your back.” It’s a scary notion to think that we live in a world where people only give in order to get something in return. It seems like everything is a transaction.
I was at my barber recently and got into a coughing fit. He gave someone some money and asked them to get me a bottle of water. When I tried to reimburse him, he wouldn’t accept it. So I paid him for the haircut, we exchanged goodbyes and I left feeling pretty thankful to have him as a barber.
There’s a reason I recommend him to friends and family. Hell, there’s a reason he’s been my barber since I was a teenager.
There’s nothing wrong with a transaction in and of itself. If you’re running a business, you need to provide a service and you need money in order to continue to provide that service. Not only do you need to keep the lights on, you need to put food on your table for yourself and your family.
The issue is when one loses one’s humanity in the pursuit of money, power and prestige. The issue is when getting stuff is more important than what you are giving.
In business, corners are cut, ecosystems destroyed and people sacrificed so that companies can maintain a positive net growth.
In relationships, promises aren’t kept, coercion is often the order of the day and getting your needs met is always more important than you helping to meet the other person’s needs.
You might think that companies like Nestle or Amazon who are always in the news for their grievances are the exception to the rule. Their practices don’t exactly show that they care about people.
Despite being a demanding boss, Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon was famous for his personal touch when Amazon was only an online bookstore.
Nestle experienced highs and lows during the early 1900s due to the world wars but a strong business acumen saw them adapting to their circumstances and growing into a huge corporation.