Commodity or gift?

Humble inquiry maximises my curiosity and interest in the other person and minimises bias and preconceptions about the other person.*
(Edgar Schein)

If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.**
(African saying)

We want to bring everything we are to what we do.  It’s hard, though, when we work within systems that treat us more like “It” rather than “You” or “Thou,” as Martin Buber has it – even if this is not the intention; Buber holds out for something more:

‘Inscrutably involved, we live in the currents of universal reciprocity.’^

Our employees want us to bring heart to work, to be fully engaged, yet don’t dream of giving heart back to us.  They may pay well, but when they fail to listen, when they are suspicious about imagination and play and exploration, when they drop crushing expectations on their people, they are replacing “You” with “It.”    When heartfulness is seen as a commodity then they also fail to see what could be:

‘The It is the chrysalis, the You the butterfly.’^

A human is never a commodity, a human is always a gift.

A commodity is what it is.

A gift is the gift, the spirit of the gift (which is where our heart is especially found) and the community of the gift – the connection we bring.

(*From Edgar Schein’s Humble Inquiry.)
(**African saying, quoted in Erwin McManus’ The Last Arrow.)
(^From Martin Buber’s I and Thou.)

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