On eagles wings: Our recovery from Coronavirus (XXV). Mourning and Rejoicing for Others.
Be meek with others and yourself recap. My last example of meekness was directly connected with the current coronavirus situation. I beg your pardon if I do not extend examples for different types of jobs or industries. I tried to cover the case of a public market worker because it is a sector of high congestion in its own nature definition. Eleonora Escalante Strategy advises each worker from every economic sector, to prepare its specific Anti-coronavirus routine journey map. From the humblest of the jobs to the highest well-paid board of directors representative, each of us has the duty to be prepared not just with an antivirus toolkit in your bag (clean masks, alcohol gel, face shield, disinfectant wipes, etc); but with the protection meek attitude towards ourselves and to others. Of course, the best advice I can provide is to “stay at home” to avoid being infected or to stop contaminating others; but if you can´t withdraw going out, it is imperative for you to sit down, and make a list of all the things you will do during the day. For each of them, plan in advance how to implement the sanitary measures, including social distancing.
The hot spots where people get the virus are crowded places. Try to avoid agglomerations, please, por favor, s´il Vous plait. Be meek with others and yourself. The virus is highly transmitted by other human carriers (at least that is what we know until today). In terms of transportation, that is why ecological cities with protected pedestrian and cycling lanes are much more prepared to face off the virus than those with main packed transportation systems.
As you already know, once I finished my studies at Cornell University in the coldest slopes of Ithaca, I was hired by the multinational company Asea Brown Boveri, with headquarters in Zurich Switzerland. I joined the Swiss lake’s territory as a financial advisory manager for the business unit of ABB Structured Finance (under the ABB Financial Services). I also have shared with you that I had the opportunity to meet, greet, and develop beautiful friendships with many people there, that I still keep in contact with these days. One friend of mine, who lives in a Basel dwelling, gave me a cherished present. And guess what was it? Yes indeed, it was a book! A booklet material about ethical values. And I am using some of those gifted pages, to explain today´s theme: the beatitude of mourning under the context of “leadership values”. Mourning is required for guiding teams and for decision making in anywhere and everywhere on earth, regardless of your religion.
Mourning in the context of a leadership virtue. According to the American Heritage dictionary, Mourning is the set of actions and/or expressions of one who has suffered a bereavement. To mourn is to feel or express grief or sorrow. In the context of this article, do not confuse the word mourning exclusively with the loss of someone, or the feeling of sorrow when someone dies. For us, mourning is a word full of compassion. It speaks of “an intense, heart-crushing sorrow for others in their afflictions, whatever the cause of the hardship”. “A defining characteristic of such word “mourning” is sympathy and solidarity- the suffering of others is felt as deeply as one´s own”.
Mourning is the direct opposition of envy. The most general definition of envy is “sorrow at another´s good”. Envy is a major source and component of multiple wrongdoings. We are envious when we see someone´s happiness or success, and we first compare and find ourselves in a condition of lacking it. Then, out of the hurt of our wounded self-esteem, we actively seek and attempt to bring the other person blessing down, or we do things to steal the other person´s joy, or we procure that person to descend to our “lacking level”, either by using words or by deed. Envy is the destruction of others´ blessings. Envy is worst that jealousy because envy rises from an aggrieved sense of inferiority. Envy is an anti-virtue with the highest levels of subjectivity, it is in the eye of the beholder. Those who are envious are always insatiable of hurting the happiness or the joy potential of other humans. Envy is evil poison to the farthermost expression, and that is why those consumed by envy are willing to destroy others’ enjoyment, self-destroying themselves. “The one who envies gains nothing for himself and deprives the one he envies of nothing. He only loses thereby”. Many terrible actions originated by envy are theft, assassination, murders, robbery of awards, destruction of good recognition of others’ hard work, economic obstruction to other´s life improvement, vandalism, resentment, destructive gossip, and everything you can think of doing to ruin the lives those who have what you don´t have. Envy is also observed when the envious cheat on you so that you lose what you have. For example when someone offers you bad deals, or wealth fake promises or tricky ventures or debt contracts using or manipulating projects that will cause your inevitable damage, economic losses, or your personal misfortune in the future. Finally, envy hurts and spreads like fire, it scorches and devours others´ sources of rejoicing. Envy spoils entire families and their right to cheer their blessings. Envy can be petty such as jealous bad feeling because we lack a natural basic condition of another (such as beautiful eyes, or a pretty hairstyle or a skinny figure or the degree of intelligence or an artistic gift), up to mid-level envy actions such as criticizing other´s education success, or damaging the new car of your neighbor, or blocking with bad recommendations all the job-search of someone else, or lying about a person in a way to obstruct her international career journey, or blackmailing others or by destroying a future marriage just because he doesn´t want to wed you. High levels of envy include murder, gang extortion, robbery, fraud, and corruption.
Repeating it again “ If envy is the sorrow of another´s good”, its counterpoint is mourning, or the sorrow at another´s hardships, grieving with others in their affliction or losses. “Whereas the envy weeps at those who celebrate and celebrates at those who weep, mourning weeps with those who weep and rejoices with those who rejoice”.
Mourning is a positive virtue. Whenever we express solidarity for the pain or the bad situation of another, we can begin positive actions to repair and fix that situation. In addition, mourning is the beginning of the most elevated compassion acts of solidarity. It treats giving as a matter of understanding, not by pity. Giving affectionate support, providing comfort, helping, and standing beside others sufferings is precious. In addition, mourning is the best antidote against envy. Nothing is more essentially human in leadership, in every possible kind of organization or society than the virtue of mourning with those who mourn and rejoicing with those who rejoice.
Jesus is the pure example of the virtue of mourning. Through all his stories in the New Testament, Jesus-Christ had compassion for the crowds. He always felt other people´s pains, he has been one of the most compassionate leaders in history, to the point of not just look at his crooked religious communities in Jerusalem, but he cried to see their condition and wept for them all his way to the cross. He felt the pain of his friends, of the humble and rich people who suffered a disadvantage. Jesus first felt empathy and compassion. Then he acted with miracles, resurrecting Lazaro, or resuscitating the daughter of the roman leader, or healing the sick and the blind, or providing fish and bread to those who were hungry.
Envy is also a revenge of failure. A cause of many business model disruptions. Sadly, with the emergence of disruptive technology, we can find that envy triggers wrong business models, with mediocre products and services. Whenever you see that someone can´t achieve the highest quality standards of producing something, and, he decides to destroy those standards, that is envy. Henry Fairlie defines this action as the “revenge of failure”. “As long as no talent is required, no apprenticeship to a skill, no academic efforts to pass, then everyone can do it with mediocrity… And envy has been satisfied because failure has had its revenge. For example, Henry Fairlie explains how envy operates as a revenge of failures: “If we cannot paint well, we will destroy the canons of painting and pass ourselves off as painters. If we will not take the trouble to write poetry, we will destroy the rules of prosody and pass ourselves off as poets. If we are not inclined to the rigors of an academic discipline, we will destroy the standards of that discipline and pass ourselves off as graduates. If we cannot make music, we will simply make noise and persuade others that it is music”… How many disruptive businesses do we currently see around which have risen as a cause of envy, a revenge of failure?
Self-reflection about mourning as a contrast weapon against envy. Envy works in every one of us. It is hard to tame this feeling without the Jesus-Christ role model. Why? Because we are simple mortals. Because envy works in everyday life, at almost every level and sphere of society, creating family tensions, neighborhood hostilities, gender rivalries, national conflicts, and international strife. The only way to fix envy is by acting with mourning, solidarity, and compassion. By rejoicing the good fountains of blessings for others, we learn to stimulate our brains to sympathize with others´success.
Mourning and rejoicing for others are not automatic virtues. It takes years of practice. It takes errors and learning from mistakes, and it takes character to suppress the irrationality of damaging others because of envy. It takes years to inhibit dejection, disparagement, and destruction. If you feel “that anyone´s possession or success belittles you and you act to bring that person down to where you are”, that is envy. If you feel an agreeable sensation from contemplating the misery of another one, that is envy. If you wish a miserable salary (US$300/month) for a professional who has worked hard to earn a six-figure salary (US$$8,333 per month), that is envy. If you know that a lady is a straight heterosexual and she is the fiancée of the man you selfishly desire for you, and you initiate gossip that the lady is lesbian just to ruin her future wedding, that is envy. If you find yourself asking “Why should others enjoy what I may not”, that is envy. If you see yourself moving individuals downward in society, that is envy. If you uncover yourself by thinking about how to diminish other´s economic benefits (profits) by setting rival competition just to destroy the abundance of others, that is envy. Whatever your “envy” reasons, you must take action to take it out of your heart as much as you practice your daily workouts or hobbies.
“Our envy of others devours us most of all. Rub your eyes, and purify your heart and prize above all else in the world those who love you and who wish you well”: Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.
See you on Friday with the virtue of “Hunger of RIghteousness”. Stay safe please, Blessings.
Sources of reference utilized to write this article:
“Steering through Chaos- Vice, and Virtue in an age of moral confusion”. The Trinity Forum, 1999.
Disclaimer: Illustrations in Watercolor are painted by Eleonora Escalante. Other types of illustrations or videos (which are not mine) are used for educational purposes ONLY. Nevertheless, the majority of the pictures, images, or videos shown on this blog are not mine. I do not own any of the lovely photos or images posted unless otherwise stated.
1 Comment »