What role for business owners in a world full of violence?

making a difference

Image: Making a difference, via Shutterstock

As we progress through 2015, I am day by day dismayed at the violence and carnage I see each night when I tune in to watch the news. I, like many others, are starting to feel that we just don’t want to hear it any more.

Men, women, children, the old and the young, the aid workers, the police officers, we are all exposed. These destructive monsters who bring terror and destruction to our lives appear to have no heart and no understanding of humanity. I am guessing that many of them even pride themselves on their lack of it.

I personally can see no sense in it all. Destructive anger in my experience creates nothing but a vicious circle of murder and untold damage. But even though I see no sense in it, I have this overwhelming desire to contribute or support, to find a way to make things better.

I accept that very few of us can influence to the extent that we can directly reduce or limit such carnage. But what we business owners often do so well is know when to stand up for what is right, to fight to make things better, to work hard to solve problems and to nurture those around us. We are not known for standing around twiddling our thumbs and waiting for others to tell us what to do or how to do it.

So in the face of such carnage around the world, what I know we can do, each in our own small way, is take the little steps within our power to make the world around us a better place. In the knowledge, of course, that if 20,000, 40,000 or even 100,000 small business owners take steps to make the world a better place, then what an amazing impact that will have.

There is a quote I particularly like, perhaps you like it too?

Success is the sum of small efforts, repeated day in and day out

— Robert Collier

And the steps we can take are many. It makes me proud to see business owners prioritising creating jobs, paying a fair wage, finding ways to support those in our communities who have lost their way, mentoring ex offenders to help reintegrate them into work and society and helping someone who has never worked before back into work and learn what it is like to be financially independent.

I also see business owners taking time out to give careers advice to those still in education and unsure of their future, encourage racial tolerance amongst friends, family and employees, develop the skills of employees to build confidence and self esteem and endlessly raise money for charities. In fact we business owners are also great at stamping our feet and insisting on our political and other leaders acting with integrity and taking the time to identify the vision and then provide those around us with a greater sense of purpose.

The list of what business owners can and regularly do is endless and, in reality, every little thing we do is important.

So, if we all pull in the same direction, doing whatever we can to contribute and lead the way, then, one step at a time, our business community can show the world what humanity is, what being responsible for others is, what caring for your community is and what working towards a better future is.

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