In recent months, as the geo-political and macroeconomic winds have blown dark clouds across the skies of the global economy, we must never forget nor pause nor cease the great progress that global businesses have made across the world over the last two years in placing employee mental health and well-being at the very fulcrum of global purpose, vision, and strategy. In the past two heart-breaking and gut-wrenching years of the unspeakable affliction and trauma that human civilization has endured with the global pandemic and other world events, we have all seen and felt the growing mental health crisis, exacerbated by the cruel fissures and fault lines across nations and oceans and social and societal dimensions ranging from social inequity to income inequality. For the most part, mental health and mental hygiene can be addressed in breathtakingly simple ways. As an example, authentic compassion is one of the greatest and most beautiful nutrients for the human brain and for mental hygiene. The compassion of a kind and warm smile, the compassion of spontaneously helping each other out, the compassion of making time for others, the compassion of listening attentively to the other without any particular motive or objective — just simple, plain, unsophisticated compassion.
But the tormented biochemistry of the human brain — already nauseatingly toxified by the multi-generational genetic and societal transmission of programmatic thinking and organized social conditioning — somehow manages to soil something even as simple and beautiful as compassion. The brain is regrettably predisposed towards making compassion into a concept, an idea, a notion, a distant “something” that needs to be codified and perfected. And the brain then proceeds to decorate and ornament the idea of compassion with nobility, virtue, goodness, greatness, honour and such things, and then wraps a ribbon of prescriptive theories, habits, routines, and to-do patterns around it for human beings to actualize compassion. By the time the brain is finished with all of its strenuous exertions of pedestaling compassion, neither the brain nor the body can “feel” any compassion at all! Too many of us live in our heads and insensibly deny ourselves the nameless and beautiful and ravishing intelligence of our hearts. As we biologically advance through Life, our uniquely exquisite hearts are bludgeoned and battered and neutralized by the awful cleverness of our brains, our heads, and of invasive societal conditioning.
As we weather this and future challenges, we need a Renaissance of our hearts — nay a wider Renaissance of the World Heart! Not by the head creating another wretched concept about the heart to make it an actualizable reality, but by the sheer simplicity of “feeling” our hearts in the moment. Over hundreds of years, businesses with good hearts have out-paced businesses with just clever heads. A good business heart isthe sine qua non for long-term business and employee health and well-being. After all, good things happen to good people, and even when they don’t, they do! It is in this light that we passionately affirm that employee mental health and well-being is an absolute survival imperative for businesses and for humankind at large, and arguably even more vital in the future than in the last couple of years.