The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

The Joy of Giving: Karma Yoga Session 1

July 7th, 2018

“Don’t give to get. Give to inspire others to give.”

~ Simon Sinek

One such choice we made is to explore the side of our personality which allows us to be generous in giving, without expecting anything in return.

We, the students of PGPM 2019 – NINJAS, started our journey on 7th July 2018 with the same mission in mind. Red walls, lush green compound, enthusiastic students in the uniforms planting trees, joyful teachers; these are the visuals which welcomed us to the Primary Government School of Fazalwas, Haryana. It was euphoria all around; innocent faces, wide smiles, genuine conversations. We were elated by seeing the school kids deeply involved with themselves and maybe this is what it is called “being in present” or “mindfulness”.

After a quick introduction, we were pleased to witness various performances by students such as dancing, singing, and mimicry. Post the icebreaking session, we were quick in executing our plans for the day. Teaching tables through Vedic mathematics technique, unleashing the talent hidden in the students by asking different questions about their likes and interests, engaging them by playing games with them. We clapped, danced and laughed along with them and got lost in the moment forgetting all the worries, assignments or projects. There was a sense of belonging and blissfulness in those tiny classrooms with minimum facilities. It gave us immense pleasure to have connected with these kids when they were over the moon sharing with us their fantasies, friends, and little playful fights they had amidst strong bonding. At that moment, we felt there is a lot of selfishness in giving back to society which is the immense satisfaction and happiness you experience in the process.

Giving back to society not only makes us generous, it also adds purpose to our life and happiness in doing something for others who need it more. Giving back to society is de-stressing too, it helps us to realize our own self and manage our inner relationships to make us live a more balanced life, allowing us to keep a balance between our daily chaos and our need to become a more responsible citizen and an individual.

Seeing the sheer joy and happiness on the kids’ face and knowing that we have been a small reason behind those smiles has been an unparalleled experience. And we are forever in debt to the Karma Yoga initiative of Great Lakes, Gurgaon for introducing us to such joy.

“At the end of the day, it’s not about what you have or what you’ve accomplished. It’s all about who you’ve lifted up, who you’ve made better. It’s about what you’ve given back.”

~ Denzel Washington

Author: Urvi Sehrawat

PGPM, Class of 2019, Great Lakes, Gurgaon

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Has 21st Century’s Intense Competition lead to the Abolition of Business Ethics?

Has 21st Century’s Intense Competition lead to the Abolition of Business Ethics?

“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”

– George Orwell

On September 18th, 2015, United States Environmental protection agency issued a notice of violation of Clean Air Act against Volkswagen for tweaking its diesel engine in order to bypass the emission test. 11 million Cars, worldwide, between the model year 2009 and 2015 were identified to have faulty systems. This proves how contemplating an unethical decision with its apparent short term benefits is eventually a recipe for disaster.

For a business entity, ethics can be categorized as its responsibilities towards, (i) its customers, (ii) its employees, (iii) the government and (iv) the ecological balance of our planet. We need ethics as they are vital for the proper functioning of the economic, political and social network which will eventually lead to the overall development of the human race.

So, how and why does unethical behaviour creep into a system and make highly intellectual business leaders lose track of their ethical responsibilities? The answer lies in the fact that any deviation from ethical practices is mostly the result of the current competitive corporate culture or pressure from the higher managerial food chain, which can emerge when a company is unable to live up to its financial expectations. To overcome these bottlenecks, leaders eventually end up bending the rules and this is when ethics and policies collide.

Let us take an example of child labour. If a firm hires children as its major work force, it can drive down its prices. Now to remain competitive, the rival firm has to relook into its cost structure and come up with an optimized price point. Should the firm also look to hire children in its work force? Is it ethical? Will this help in achieving cost cut? The instinctive answers to these questions may be yes but in the long run, it will not serve the purpose of growth. History is full of references of organisations which have linked good ethical practices with their performance and have eventually outperformed their competitors financially.

Ethisphere Institute, a global leader in defining and advancing the standards of ethical business practices has listed Tata Steel as one of the World’s Most Ethical Company for the year 2017. Points are awarded to an organization based on: ethics and compliance program (35%), culture of ethics (20%), corporate citizenship and responsibility (20%), governance (15%) and leadership, innovation and reputation (10%). Prior to 2017, the Indian Steel giant had bagged this award in years 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016. Over decades, ethics has been a major driver for Tata Group. One of the core business ethic principles the company follows is to fully support the development and operation of competitive open markets. It may be pointed out that this policy hampers the organizations’ revenue, but In the long run, these policies promote a strong public image based on trust and relationship.

The challenge for those in business is to identify ways to do what is ethically correct while maximizing a shareholder’s wealth. Before taking any decision, the leadership of an organization must introspect what impact will their decision have on the organization and society as a whole in both the short and long run. The importance of ethics has been reinforced into business organisations and business individuals time and again.

As Henry Ford once said, “A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business”. Ethics in business is present; the difficult question is how to make it more prevalent.

 

Authors: Saurav Dhar & Rishi Raj

PGPM, Class of 2018, Great Lakes, Gurgaon