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Ancient Wisdom in Modern Businesses: A necessary integration

As the economy attempts to recover in lieu of the pandemic, the “traditional” way of running businesses is no longer viable. According to Bloomberg, more millennial employees in the US are resigning over inflexible hours, not enough opportunities for growth, and the general feeling of being stuck. A simple root cause analysis can define the reason for this—business are more driven by profit and numbers instead of the people that bring the results and resources. A business that solely cares about profit will not care about employee well-being, nor will it care about growth. It will always make decisions based on what will generate the best numbers. Now that employee priorities are shifting, it revealed the years-old truth that the corporate world has been trying to hide: current business practices are simply unsustainable.

What it Means to be Human

Ancient Wisdom explored the concept of what it means to be human. It has studied the connection of every human to the health of our planet, and how institutional decisions can make a great impact on our collective experiences. A research from Harvard University stated that various industries around the world deal with ethical and moral dilemmas everyday which often result to long-term consequences, and having leaders with bad characters at the helm will always result in a disaster.

The defining trait that humans have which separates us from other animals is our ability to reason. Current business practices—from the service industry to corporate offices—rarely give workers an opportunity to say what needs to be said about current working conditions, especially if it can affect the numbers even in the slightest. It can be argued that if Aristotle exists today, he would call this “Modern Slavery”.

Why Ancient Wisdom?

Ancient Wisdom calls for a consciousness revolution. It’s supposed to make us rethink our priorities as a society; one that considers the people, the planet, and our virtues as we make decisions. We have been accustomed to big businesses being driven primarily by money, and sees people as a mere statistic. The problems this line of thinking has been causing all these years is unprecedented; with more people going into debt or families being ruined because of toxic leadership, unreasonable work hours, and extremely low pay. We have been going on circles for ages—labor at the center of it all.

The only way to remedy this sick culture is us going back to our roots. Scholars argue that “the notions of virtue and character drawn from eastern and western ancient philosophers” are now “proving to be relevant for leadership in the post-modern age”, especially now that organizations are being challenged to adapt to the situational changes happening around the world. No matter how we try frame solutions, the key to sustainability—which will benefit not only people but the environment itself—lies in Ancient Wisdom.

Where do we Start?

Ancient Philosophers state that virtuous leaders are easily recognized by their followers, with the notion that the followers know what is desirable or worth doing. If we apply it to modern businesses, the management must put their workers at the forefront of every decision, since they will be the ones driving results for your business. Important decisions such as giving more flexible hours, a living wage, and genuine interest in their wellbeing will result in workers being more motivated, which makes the business flourish.

If more people worry less about their jobs, they are more likely to pursue interests that will greatly benefit society. Some will have more time to pursue humanitarian and environmental projects, some will have more time with their families, and some will simply have a better state of living. Overall, practicing Ancient Wisdom is bound to have a positive domino effect to our communities.

Athena Wisdom Institute’s goal is to build a society bent on sustainability and Ancient Wisdom. We are consistent with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which aim to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure that people enjoy peace, prosperity, and equality.

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