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The Tikkun Olam Behind Big Business

A philosophical look at the intersection between spiritualism and business

Someone recently asked me how a person as spiritual, kind and altruistic as I was could be in the PR business. They saw a disconnect between my core values and my love of the business world. I gave this poor unsuspecting soul a long speech and thought I’d share it with y’all!

I’m passionate about entrepreneurship and particularly interested in technology as I believe it will enable us to transcend anthropological issues that have plagued society for centuries.

G-d created a world with a lightness and a darkness. And they both co-exist. Yet, we subsist as a world waiting to be redeemed. Yearning for a day of reckoning that beckons towards the Messianic Era. But, what if we were never meant to reach that moment? What if it exists in our consciousness as a state of enlightenment we are driven to strive for and never achieve. A belief in this end game creates a subconscious desire that forces us to constantly seek redemption and live in a state of inaction as we await a savior. But, was that really the point of the story?

In today’s world of business the option to be “the man” instead of just “work for the man” is more accessible than ever before as we allow people to take action. And it brings with it an excellent opportunity to level to the playing the field. The availability of outside capital provides entrepreneurs with upward mobility while bypassing the nepotism that is so deeply rooted within our corporate culture. These institutions also bring valuable resources to the table including mentorship, strategic guidance and network access. The goal should be to make starting a business as easy as possible enabling us to create a culture that fosters financial independence. The byproduct of this would create unprecedented socio-economic reform and have a far reaching impact on both race relations and gender equality issues.

We are taught that at any given time there are 36 righteous people – the Lamed Vav – walking among us. The identity of these holy people are hidden and they may not even know it themselves. For the sake of these 36 people, G-d will preserve the world no matter the atrocities committed by the rest of the population. We are taught that since no one knows who is among the 36, we must all act as if we are one of them. We are told it’s possible one of these people could be the messiah and they will be revealed when the world is ready.

Perhaps this sacred prophecy isn’t meant to offer us hope for redemption, but rather to highlight the simplest of truths — that if they are already here, then we’ve already been redeemed.

Now more than ever before we have the tools to completely redefine the fabric of our culture through business. In addition to fostering equality, we are also seeing entrepreneurs positioning social causes prominently within their business plans and giving back to their communities. Historically, businesses have been the largest culprits of damage to our habitat, but now we are watching new business owners place sustainability at the heart of their vision.

If we allow ourselves to be blinded by faith instead of empowered by it, then the true message becomes obscured and limits our capacity to save ourselves. We aren’t meant to wait for G-d to intervene and save us from our own humanity. G-d has already given us everything we need to deliver ourselves from bondage. It’s not a waiting game. We are meant to take action!

Most people think healing the world is a job for non-profits and one that doesn’t pay very well. But I’ve encountered innovative leaders who are creating billion dollar companies with the mission to help millions of people. We’ve been so focused on calling out the ego-centric nature of the “Me Generation” of Millennials that it appears as though no one has bothered to notice that they are changing the way we do business and speaking-up with every dollar they spend. Literally, putting their money where their mouth is and loudly proclaiming their values.

The solution we’ve been seeking is already here and hiding in plain sight. Take a look around and you might be surprised to discover that some of the people who have the potential to be one of the 36 look less like Moses and more like a CEO.

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