I was so pleased to see your latest posting on Facebook and know that you are concerned about the welfare and future of what sounds like a very dynamic company. How well they have succeeded and created a business that holds up their ideals; models their values. I find joy in seeing the promotion of such fine people and their efforts.
My first response was to add the company name to the list of places I will not shop at or support. It is because this group of fine people believes that their values will be compromised if they have to pay health insurance for others and for specific procedures that their values do not support. They are predicting dire consequences and financial stretching beyond their capacity to share. Paying for health insurance for all and all procedures is not part of their value system. They worked hard and they achieved this success within their family. They want their values honored in every aspect of life and in their community at large. Well actually, they want to make the choice for everyone regardless of other’s values, hopes and dreams.
I do not shop at several mega retailers. I do a lot of voting with my dollars and I share my concerns in letters and communications with the companies. We work with these companies to get them to understand our values of energy efficiency, safety, and the environment. Two of the largest retailers only pay health insurance for their upper level employees, and they are exempt from paying to the state the sales tax they collect at the registers (which goes to cover state expenses as we do not have a state income tax) In several dynamic instances, we have developed a team effort which has created new products that developed new jobs and improved the environment. I want to live out my values to the highest level and be consistent, but I still pay my taxes so that the employees of these mega retailers can have health insurance, bus service, the public libraries, sewers, water, schools, and our community health clinics. I not only support my public schools, buy fundraising goodies from the private schools, but I also volunteer hours of my time in assisting kids in the learning process. I work at modeling my values in action 24/7; I hope my actions will inspire.
I do not believe in war and many of my friends refused to pay their taxes or they tried selectively paying during the past conflicts in particular the Viet Nam War. I do not like to give money to war, and yet I live just a few miles away from one of the largest military complexes in the world. All the pictures on my livingroom walls are crooked because of gun, canon, bomb, helicopter, and drone practice that goes on all the time. The majority of homeless people on our streets are veterans and the majority of the children in our schools are from military families and significant amounts of our taxes go to support these families and provide logistical and emotional support. All night long, tanks being offloaded at the port are rumbling through the downtown streets and the park around the lake is full of soldiers jogging and staying fit during the day. I cannot pick and choose what I will support and not support, if I want the best for my community. I can only teach and share my values, and model them every day.
I must confess that two days ago when the Senators filibustered and defeated the Veteran’s job act – well the 4 Republican Senators who helped write the act – I jumped up and down, swore and screamed at the stupidity of it all. I then sought reason and response. These veterans risked their lives for us and now we have to scramble even more to help re-entry into the workforce and get healthcare! That offended my values.
I have found that my values are best expressed within collaboration. When individuals, communities, government and business work together the outcome enhances everyone and provides more inspiration, communication and creativity. I have found when my values are confronted if I act to express my values and have them not abandoned within the process, the outcomes are more valuable. I can relax my defensive posturing and be kinder and more respectful; it is easier to express and share my values in a constructive manner that builds and enhances others.
I would rather celebrate the millions that this company and their family has made and all the joy the hours of crafting has brought to many individuals and not write them off the list as people who cannot communicate outside of their values, who cannot enhance the whole community, and want to take their ball & bat and hit me over the head for not playing the game with only their rules. What fun is that?
So I hope you will forgive me dear friend for not handing out the tissues and joining this “unfair” whine; I think I will take it on as another conflict that provides a teachable moment and just maybe I can enhance the process and provide a delight full outcome. I do appreciate you drawing this to my attention and all your support over these many years.
With hugs and best wishes,
How has collaboration benefitted you and your community? How do you feel when you have to pay for something you do not value?