By Michele Vonetes Bongiovanni, a Peace Ambassador
On this very sacred day, we celebrate “global oneness”, the belief that is simple in concept, but imbued with an energy so very powerful, it can heal the world. We are all one--with each other, with all of humanity, nature, the animal kingdom, our world (and beyond), and Spirit/God.
I am grateful for the lessons I learned in James O’Dea’s Peace Ambassador Course . . . for it is only with peace and grace that we truly “live” the embodied oneness. The tremendous lessons of dealing with energy in all its forms…and maintaining a grounded, present mindset in the face of conflict have served and continue to serve me well with family, outside groups and business. I am a better person as a result of these powerful lessons, and the course truly awakened my desire to develop my own healing project.
In fact, it led me to the notion of integrating this fundamental belief in “oneness” with businesses and consumers—for it is not simply a concept relegated to the spiritual and faith-based institutions. I believe it is of the utmost importance in creating a sustainable and thriving society, and helping to steer humanity away from its current, destructive path. I also believe this is my own expression of “Sacred Leadership” that Andrew Harvey speaks so eloquently of. So I’ve left “corporate” to launch HealRWorld, a future B Corporation that aims to bring together sustainable businesses and socially conscious consumers through a recognition of their inherent “oneness”—for after all, businesses are living, breathing entities comprised of people. Businesses have a pulse…and a heart.
As I stated in a recent Huffington Post blog, I believe that consumers/employees are tired of the heartless corporate games. Having been a corporate employee for over two decades, I've heard "injustice" dismissed as merely "playing the game" for years, as if we should be proud of this masterful technique comprised of high-valued skills such as deceit, manipulation, "spinning" and a general lack of integrity, or sacrificing our values so as not to "rock the boat" in the name of job survival. And I would go on to say that through my career, I've seen this get progressively worse as executives struggle to keep up with unrealistic shareholder expectations for larger than life corporate profits. It's not just part of public company culture either -- I've seen it first hand in smaller, private companies where the CEO and executives are more concerned with profits than loyalty to employees or even their own customers.
I think we've veiled the topic of injustice in the corporate world for way too long now. We need a new way of leading and to re-awaken the spirit of so very many employees who've been "shushed" in the name of supporting a system that did not reward courage, truth and real innovation. Many have been forced to become what I call "work zombies," just going through the motions and keeping the delicate balance of not standing-up too strongly for their beliefs/values to maintain the very sustenance they need to support themselves and their families -- yes my friends, I call this injustice in the pure sense of the word.
Companies whose cultures lack a real commitment to social responsibility can wreak havoc on employee morale and, in extreme cases, even their safety -- just look at the recent disaster in the Bangladesh textile factory where over 1000 people were killed as a result of poor labor standards.
And it's not just about the effects of a lack of social responsibility on people, but also on our world. The level of greenhouse emissions is the highest ever and there is a global climate crisis brewing the likes of which we've never seen before -- all problems that many corporations have contributed to.
So, how do we begin to effect change you might ask? Fundamentally, we believe that a dramatic shift needs to happen in the corporate world and quickly. We believe this shift can happen -- if we work together to awaken the “sacred leadership” inherent in each one of us to stand up for what we know is right...and to work for and patronize companies who see things the way we do, share a commitment to real social responsibility and who encourage our voices. While no person or company is perfect, there are many out there striving to do what's right for our world and their employees. Those are the companies we as consumers and employees should patronize. We will then encourage other businesses to step-up and join them by leading by example. We can do this—together—in the true spirit of Global Oneness.
Please follow us/our developments on www.healrworld.com and help us to co-create a better world!
Michele Bongiovani is a Peace Ambassador graduate and social-entrepreneur. She is the Founder/President of HealRWorld LLC, a future B Corp. She’s spent over two decades at top Fortune 500 corporations in strategy, product development, innovation and marketing and is passionate about her belief that business leaders have a responsibility to create more sustainable solutions and practice 'awakened' leadership’ to help create a shift that will help heal our planet. Michele is an IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) Silver Quill Recipient for her “Crises Professionals in Action” program helping businesses affected by the first World Trade Center bombing. She is also a member of UN Women (United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women), and holds a B.A. in Economics/Concentration Finance, and a Mini-MBA in Digital Marketing from Rutgers University.
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This article appears in:
2013 Catalyst - Issue 18