An old colleague this week gave me something to reflect on. He questioned whether the name of my professional blog was achieving what I am wanting to achieve.
Well, this is the blog, and clearly you can see its name is ‘Ura on Sacred Governance’. My colleague’s comment was:
‘…the word “sacred” has religious connotations – as soon as I read that I think of doctrine and faith, and men dressed in period costume…’
As I said in my reply to him, I so much get what he was feeling.
It is a reality in our world that a great many people carry a negative charge around words like sacred or spiritual. Formal religions have laid claim to these words and the space around them, and many people have had bad experiences with either dogma, or the terrible things that have been done in the name of religions. So when these words come up they shut them down.
My life path has taken me on a long journey which has brought me back through an exploration of ego and then ultimately a connection with my soul. Through this journey I have come to see life and the journey of every soul as being of great importance. Then I have come to see how our lives get so heavily shaped by what we do in the world, and almost inevitably through that by the organisations we gather together to work in, and which shape our world through how they govern and manage us, or through commerce and how they sell to us and commercialise the world we live in.
My choice to use the term ‘Sacred Governance’ in my blog name and as a term around which I focus my work is a very deliberate one. One of the meanings of sacred when you go to the dictionary, and to my mind the true meaning before it got high jacked by religion, is ‘regarded with reverence’.
Sadly the terms that other well intentioned people use are not enough. Corporate Social Responsibility is a side show and with a few exceptions is more about PR than genuine change. Stakeholder analysis never goes far beyond shareholders and customers.
I do understand that as I carry my message out into the world that I would meet much less of that scarring from religion if I avoided the language that religion long ago sought to claim as theirs exclusively.
But No, I need to talk about Sacred Commerce and Sacred Governance. I believe we need to regard employees, and customers, and the people who supply us, and the communities around us with reverence. We need to remember we are all souls, and that we all count, and that the organisation is a fiction created to give us a mental model to work together in groups to achieve more for our communities.
The profit that is at the heart of our capitalist systems is essential, but it should never ever have been seen as the purpose of commerce. Commerce should be sacred. Commerce is a model for our souls to come together in groups bringing our gifts and our passions to create something of great worth for our communities. Every one of us carries gifts worthy of reverence, and instead of honouring the gifts with reverence we do things like build call centres and lock the gifted souls in them and lock even their ability to communicate up within a script that has no soul, and we punish them when they go off script and issue them with a warning.
I wish to stand up and reclaim the word sacred. I call upon all of us to reclaim a reverence in how we live our life, how we treat ourselves and our gifts, and how we treat our fellow human beings and this glorious planet we were gifted.I am sure my journey balancing my desire to effect change through reaching people’s hearts, and the reality of breaking through the scar tissue caused by wounds around religion, is far from done. I am sure there are more challenges ahead and more lessons on this front to learn. I travel that journey with deep reverence for my life, for my soul, and with reverence for every soul I encounter on that path, whether they remember they are a soul or not, and whether they offer reverence to me or not.
And to my dear colleague who gave me such wonderful cause to reflect, I offer deep gratitude and of course reverence.
Ura P Auckland
Managing Director – Authegrity Pty Ltd
Sacred Commerce & Sacred Governance Advocate & Adviser
Independent Contractor – Finance, Governance & Commerce