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Monday, April 25, 2011

On American Business: Is Money-Making the Means and End?

In the month before the Oscars, Turner Classic Movies runs films under the promo, "Thirty One Days of Oscar."  Interestingly, in promoting this series, the network reminds views to watch the Oscars on another network.  Although the strategy could be that if people watch the Oscars, they will be more likely to watch TCM, it could also be that the people who operate TCM really do love movies and they are not bothered at all by viewers going to another network to view the Mecca of cinema: the Oscars. In other words, it could be that a passion for film trumps the incessant drive for more profit that typically occupies the attention of business managers. The culture of cinemateque may eclipse greed.  The implication is that business as usual--the typical rationale for going to work at a given business--can and should be questioned.  All of us can ask ourselves whether we feel the way about our respective industries the way ciinophiles feel about theirs. A way to test whether you are in the right field is if you find yourself saying, "I can't believe someone pays me to do this."  I suspect that few people can marvel at being in such a situation.  Even so, I contend that human nature relishes in it and dies in a sense without it.  That something so vital is so commonly relegated or dismissed in favor of expediency (or greed) is short-sighted, for he who does what he loves is apt to do it better than otherwise. We in the West at least are so used to businesses being constantly attuned to getting the next dollar or euro that it is surprising when the managers of a company put the interests of their passion above their own company's narrow interests. We ought not, in other words, to take business as usual for our default. Rather, we ought to look for creaks of passion particularly where it checks greed, even if just for special events, at the balcony.  If passion spreads such that we put things before ourselves, society would feel much different. I suspect that we have no idea how much, being locked in as though frozen in constant motion.

Click to add a question or comment on the purpose of business.

On doing what you love, see http://thewordenreport.blogspot.com/2011/04/corporate-metaphors-money-making-and.html

On curtailing greed, see: http://thewordenreport.blogspot.com/2011/02/godliness-greed-how-effective-is.html