JOHANNESBURG - The first week into a brand-new year and the world has gone mad. Right wingers and neo Nazi’s are on the rise around the globe with protests from Melbourne to Malta.
Trump’s wall and chaotic reign has bred hate and division in the land of the free and racism, overt or otherwise with slogans of killing by unconscious leaders, have become the new normal in the beloved country of Mandela. Therefore, my fervent prayer for the new year is to take a line from the Beatles refrain to shout out: “All we need is love”.
Love soothes the human tumult, however often misunderstood or misplaced, it is a loaded ‘dirty’ word in the corporate space. Mention love in a business meeting and a pervading sense of discomfort creeps in. Yet our very nature as human beings is love. It is the very fabric of our existence.
I had a friend who was a high-powered executive. She was exceptionally successful, owned several properties and had everything the world thought one needed. In my business interaction with her, I found her to be charming as she was graceful - one of the new breed of South African women to be proud of. It was a sad day when I heard of her suicide.
I offered to help the family cope with her passing and became privy to the suicide note she had written. It spoke of a great emptiness of being unloved, an enormous void within herself due to a cheating partner.
This got me thinking of what this overused and distorted thing called love is really about. To most people, love means security, comfort and a guarantee of continuous emotional satisfaction. One can hardly open a magazine, newspaper or turn on the radio or television without love being mentioned. With social media networks, mobile phones and the internet blurring the lines of a world shrinking into a seamless platform of information and interaction, love has become a transactional commodity. I concluded that there seems to hover within the dark recesses of our lives, the timeless element of primal fear and insecurity that drives us and distorts the way love is meant to be. And nowhere is this fear more tangible than in the workplace.
There are all sorts of deviations and derivations as well. The church, temples and religious groups also have different views.
There is one view though that makes the most sense to me. It is the eternal passage from the Book of Corinthians that talks of “love is patience , love is kindness, love does not envy.”
If we are aware of these words within the context of our personal and professional lives, then it should permeate and embrace all of our interactions. This love is the ultimate expression of a soul’s yearning for consciousness. When we experience deep love, we find that which is profoundly beautiful and discover a different quality of thinking. We experience the expansion and nobility of our beings. It is that love that St Francis of Assisi displayed when he threw his arms around a leper and kissed him after realizing that it was not alms that the man needed but love – an act of care, compassion and kindness to another human being despite the circumstances. This is best described by my favourite author Ayn Rand in Atlas Shrugged.
She writes: “Love is above causes and reasons. Love is a gift – a great, free, unconditional gift that transcends and forgives everything”.
I must stress that the strength and power of love soothes the human tumult in a world that is deeply divided and chaotic. Love is all we need.
Brenda Kali is the CEO of Conscious Companies and the Founder of the Conscious Leadership Academy. www.consciouscompanies.co.za