Business and industry has gotten a reputation in some quarters as being a heartless, soulless behemoth whose only interest is in racking up money and profits for the people at the top.
But even if that reputation may be partially deserved, there’s much more to commerce than that.
Business and industry is also where many millions of ordinary people serve their communities day in and day out, stitching together with their mind, their hands, and yes, their hearts, the fabric of human society.
It would be impossible to list the billions of daily transactions and services we engage in for one another in the course of our daily work. The cashier ringing up your groceries, the mechanic fixing your car, the waiter or waitress bringing you your morning eggs and coffee at the diner, the pharmacist putting together your prescription . . . these and countless other activities that we do in the course of our business and employment are what keep us going each day.
Most of the time we don’t even think about it. Vast amounts of daily labor and service just seems to happen so that we can have food to eat, clothing to wear, a place to live, and a few of the enjoyments of life.
We may not even notice what a vital role commerce plays in elevating our lives until we see businesses and employees going above and beyond the call of duty to do exceptional things for the people they serve.
Let’s look at a few recent, heart-warming examples.
More than just a tie at Target
Yasir Moore, 15, went into his local Target store in Raleigh, NC, looking for a clip-on tie. His mother had insisted that he wear a tie for his first job interview, and neither he nor his mother knew how to tie a tie.
But Target didn’t sell clip-on ties.
That’s where the store employees swept into action. Not only did they help him buy a real tie and show him how to tie it, but they gave him a crash course in acing a job interview. “Firm handshake,” they said, “keep eye contact,” “Tell them why you’re the right person for the job.”
Audrey Mark, a passing shopper, saw what was going on and took a blurry photo that quickly went viral. “You don’t expect humanity on aisle 11 of a big-box store,” she said.
Did Yasir get the job? Find out for yourself in this video from ABC News:
“Mama Bear” surprised with a free Kia minivan
Jessica Leismann was stopped at a stoplight with her boyfriend, Charles Cook, and her 13-year-old son in tow when a carjacker rammed her from behind as he attempted to elude pursuing police.
Leismann kept her wits about her. She jumped out of the car and, assisted by her boyfriend, threw the carjacker to the ground until the police caught up a moment later and cuffed him.
The story of her bravery hit the local news, including the nickname “Mama Bear” bestowed upon her by a highly impressed local police officer.
A local business was also impressed by the brave mom. When she went in to her local Kia dealership in Mesquite, TX, to deal with her rear-ended car, instead of getting the expected loaner vehicle, she went home with a brand new minivan, given to her for free (taxes and all) by the dealer.
Here is a clip about the story:
Read more about it here.
Restaurant gives free meals, donates equivalent to charity
One Wednesday evening the diners at Bistro 82 in Royal Oak, MI, were pleasantly surprised to find out that their meals were on the house.
The restaurant’s owner, Aaron Belen, was celebrating the one-year anniversary of the trendy local eatery.
But the free meals were only half the story.
The other half?
Bistro 82 also donated to the Royal Oak Boys & Girls Club the $5,182.19 that would have been the total dinner tab for the evening.
Belen wanted to celebrate the restaurant’s anniversary not only by thanking his loyal customers for a successful first year, but also by doing some good in his community. He chose the Boys & Girls Club because it is dedicated to “giving kids a good path to go down.”
Car wash employs autistic adults
Each of the three stories is about employees and business doing good deeds in their community.
How about an entire business devoted to doing a good deed?
In 2013 John D’Eri and his son Tom founded Rising Tide Car Wash in Parkland, FL, with a special purpose in mind.
You see, John’s other son, Andrew, is autistic. And as Andrew approached his 22nd birthday, when most institutional support for autistic people stops, his family was unwilling to see him “fall off the cliff” into the typical scenario of being stuck at home, unemployed, for the rest of his life—which usually means going backwards both mentally and socially.
So John and Tom decided to found a business that would employ autistic adults doing work that was a fit for their character and skills.
A car wash turned out to be an ideal candidate. It requires engaging in a detailed, repetitive work process that autistic adults find both suitable and satisfying.
The result is a non-profit business that puts to work the skills and enthusiasm of autistic adults while providing a real and appreciated service to the local community.
This video shows some of the fine results of their enterprise:
The business of spiritual growth
Perhaps, as cynics claim, many of the charitable deeds done by businesses are aimed at PR and making a profit.
And yet, it’s still people serving people, and doing good deeds for their communities.
Are any of our motives pure, and purely altruistic?
Perhaps there are some mixed motives in many instances of business kindness. And yet, multiply these stories by thousands per year all around the world, and add in the countless small acts of kindness and service that people do in the course of their ordinary working lives, and you have a powerful forum for spiritual growth.
Isn’t learning to love and serve our neighbor what our life here on earth is all about? And doesn’t business and industry put us to work providing goods and services for our neighbors?
At its heart, business and industry solves problems in our daily lives. Successful entrepreneurs see a need, and provide goods and services to make our lives easier or more comfortable. A thriving community rests on the shoulders of a strong business sector. In ways great and small, known and unknown, countless businesses demonstrate kindness and caring.
Perhaps some companies do deserve the bad publicity they get. But let’s not forget that business and industry also provides a forum where billions of people devote their lives to serving their fellow human beings day in and day out in more ways than we can count.
In this way, getting out and engaging in business is a major pathway toward the community of heaven—where all people love and serve one another with joy, as an expression of God’s love for all people.
For further reading: