I remember a warmer, more joyful, people workplace, how about you?
The workplace was much warmer, more cordial, more of a team atmosphere where employees showed up to get along, and where the focus was getting the work done. Relationships with co-workers existed and helped the work get done because of the personal relationships made it easier to get through hard business decisions. This extended beyond the walls of the company to customers too.
There was a spirit of working together for the common good of the customer and the business. Yes, the price was important but the working relationship and ability to plan work and get work done were evaluated equally with the price. A company could invest in R&D because customers understood its value, companies could take the time to measure and plan in order to succeed.
PROFIT over PEOPLE
Now, the reverse seems to be true. Call me old fashion, but the world of work has become all-consuming and 100% money driven. Our desire for less costly (a good economic instinct but must be prudently administered) has pushed aside relationships and people for whom the system was built.
This has been a systematic change over decades. I certainly see it in healthcare, in fact, healthcare is focused on the economics of profit and is not focused on people. In healthcare, like all areas of business, we must change our focus. The equation for profit is broken, profit should be on the bottom, people should be on top.
One of my first visits to Disney in the 70’s, I encountered their proposal for the future when computers were going to free people from the mundane. The view then, being people-centric, explained how computers would allow for better relationships, more people time. But, computers, laptops, phones, PDA’s, etc. have enslaved people to work 24x7x365. Too bad I feel. Today, there are more demands on workers, less planning at businesses, zero emphasis on relationships and 100 times more fighting over profit.
Grade Your Work Place
Is this at all true in your work-place? Maybe grade your work environment? Would you say on a scale of 1-10, 10 being you are asked to work 24x7x365 and you can hardly breath some days is true, while a score of 1 would reflect that you work at a country club, the work is balanced, you can take breaks, you have built-in time that is ample for planning, and building relationships with co-workers and customers is primary and price and profit takes a back seat to a trusted business customer relationship?
Where did Christmas go?
So, what might be the root cause? I can only reflect on what I observe, the work-place is different than when I started working in the 80’s. And, it’s not a good difference. For example, this time of year, that is from Thanksgiving to Christmas, was a month of celebration. Back in the day, we didn’t say happy holidays, we said,”Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” to each other. Just passing in the halls, it was a phrase that celebrated and recognized a special time of year. The office took on a different character, there was a warmth, and a joy that was expressed between employees and customers. Stories of traveling and time with family were exchanged. There was a warmth that has left the workplace today.
So, what happened since the 80’s to the modern office? Where, or why, did “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” and the wamth and friendship go? For me, I see it pretty clearly, you and I have been bullied into believing that the words,”Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” offend people. Or, even worse, that to say or mention “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” is evil.
Hmmm. Is that true or is something else, or someone else at work?
Don’t take this change for granted, it’s actually the reverse, you see decades ago, the culture bullies pushed their view on me, and I assume you. They trampled a good thing. They kept the economic profit motive of gift giving but took the reason for the season out. Up to now, they have been successful in removing Christ from Christmas.
I’m simply one more voice echoing the fact that in the true spirit of diversity and tolerance we should be asking the culture creators bullying Christians into dropping, “Merry Christmas and Happy New Year” to each other. Being bullied may have you feeling chastised, demeaned or told you were a bigot if you say, “Merry Christmas.
You will hear them say, happy holidays is more inclusive. But, true diversity embraces differences, it doesn’t bully the differences out of people.
Christmas, You’re On A Journey to God
Offices use to celebrate Christmas and New years together as a single event in the year. In the halls of every company or client during this time of year you could hear, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.” Friends that are not Christian continue to express Merry Christmas to me, just as I might say to them, happy hanukkah if they’re of the Jewish tradition. This exchange celebrates our differences and this, I believe is true diversity.
So, for me, I’m focused on my journey to God, I pray this Christmas you are as well no matter your faith tradition.
I rejoice heartily in the LORD,
in my God is the joy of my soul; Today’s reading)
I will leave you with this thought, very few people want to talk about evil in the world, but it is real. If you don’t see the evil in the world how can you see the good?
Share The Gift of Faith
This Christmas, take Christ into the workplace, celebrate your tradition of Christ coming, rejoice with all people of good will. Stop being bullied by culturally insensitive individuals who want to bully you. But, in your encounters with others, be sure to find out what the other person is celebrating.
Learn something about your co-worker, or your customer. Making the connection with them that reflects their tradition makes room for you to celebrate Christ’s coming. After all, the Lord celebrated all humanity, and so should we.
I think this turns the workplace back into a “people” place and not a place where profit grinds down people, assets and resources. It’s my opinion that if Christ, and all faiths, celebrated the joy of season, the joy would spread to all aspects of companies, businesses, people, customers and the public.
In all circumstances give thanks,
for this is the will of God. … Refrain from every kind of evil. (Today’s reading)
There is no evil in sharing Christ
The greetings of “Merry Christmas and Happy new year” are simply good and beautiful. There is no harm in celebrating Christ’s coming and doing this at work and in the public square. So, if you find yourself saying happy holidays, wonder to yourself, why you don’t say, Merry Christmas, ask yourself if you’d rather say Christmas. Maybe ask it this way, “am I denying Christ” by not sharing the reason for the season, that is his birth. It is a time of year, that openly sharing his name is acceptable. Even despite what the culture keepers say.
“Our Christian heritage is something of which everyone can be proud, and Christians must ‘jealously guard’ their right to speak publically about their faith…” UK Bishop quoted
Real Diversity Makes People Over Profit Happen
What kind of workplace would you like? A culturally closed minded one, or one where the faith of people around you, something they hold dear is important no matter their faith. If you want to be open-minded, share Christ this season, and if someone else is celebrating something different, learn from them what that is.
Encouraging God-fearing people of all faiths to stand up for their belief and trust in the Almighty is a good thing. If you need more encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask me, or others of faith.
97% of Americans Have Faith
Resist the temptation to believe the culture bulllies, they are successful when we all believe they’re right. But, in your heart, you know faith in God humbles us humans in a way that diversity, loving all people, is automatic. In this way, don’t give into the culture bullies. You’re fine loving God at work, with co-workers, family and friends. If someone says otherwise, ask them why they’re a bully.
BTW: In case you’re wondering, 97% of Americans declare a faith in God. That’s pretty incredible, so, share your faith, nearly everyone has faith.
Did you know PEW research says, found that 3.1% of American adults say they are atheists when asked about their religious identity, up from 1.6% in a similarly large survey in 2007. quoted source.