The other day a good friend of mine in Japan sent me an interview article of an economist, Yasuo Tateoka, who has been disseminating the ideas of ‘Shien-gaku (Supportology)’ and ‘Economics of Altruism.’ His theories are based on his actual experience of being part of the team that led a majour automobile company on the verge of collapse to a miraculous revival.
One of the ideas he is supporting is the importance of willingness to bring out other’s strength/gifts, and having the experience of someone bringing out your ability in return. When an organization really follows this principle, instead of ‘forcing / being forced to do something’, amazing things can happen. There will be no victim, only the people who are appreciated and happy, and voluntarily extending themselves. Sounds naive and too good to be true?
At one hospital in Japan that is following the above principle, the janitors voluntarily take home with them dying plants in the building, bring them to life and bring them back to the hospital. Nurses and other staff volunteer their time to organize an art exhibition in the hospital for a dying patient and an aspiring artist. I’m sure the artwork must have inspired many in return.
I too believe that one of the keys to survive the so-called global crisis is to empower each other, and that everyone contributes to the whole. But what if we are not sure what we are good at? The above person says the key to finding your calling is to be process-oriented — just take action when something attracts you. If it’s your calling, things start to go smoothly or a helper may appear, and above all, you will start to feel like something is allowing you to do it instead of you doing it. I love the idea of an economist talking about process paradigm! Although I try to follow the process as much as I can, I’m also often result-oriented especially when it comes to work. Something about the article relaxes me and excites me about following what is calling me.