TaN: Do you believe in Jesus Christ; are you a Christian; or, are you a hypocrite? During the New Year festivities, how many of the following did you engage or participated in: exploding pyrotechnics, having round fruits, wearing polka dots, jumping into the air, and buying charms and symbols (especially those of the Chinese zodiac).
Exploding pyrotechnics is said to have originated from the Chinese – to ward of evil spirits. Having round fruits, wearing polka dots, and buying charms and symbols are said to, likewise, have (apparently) originated from the Chinese – to attract luck and good fortune. Jumping into the air – sorry, I am in the dark on this one as to its origin – to grow taller.
There are neither such term nor concept in the Holy Scriptures. Ergo, to believe and indulge in such superstitions and inanities means either one is a non-Christian (i.e., does not believe in Jesus Christ) or a hypocrite. To say that one is a Christian and still engage in such activities is to be a hypocrite. So, are you a hypocrite?
Finally, don’t get me started on Easter Eggs, the Easter Bunny, and all those other Pagan traditions and rituals. You are either a Christian (and obey the dicta and commandments of Jesus Christ) or you are not. If you are both, then you are a hypocrite.
TaN: Outsourcing – specifically Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) – is how irresponsible or unethical business skirt their social responsibility under the guise of being cost efficient, of spreading out employment opportunities, of improving production or business activity. In this world, there are always two ways or sides to everything. This is the Duality of the Universe. There will always be a right and a wrong way of doing things.
BPO is not an exception. Responsible BPO have several qualifications: (1) the work is new to the company or there are no available and competent employees that can do the work; (2) the recipient of the outsourcing is at par or even better than the compensation, benefits package, and working conditions enjoyed by the employees of the outsourcing company; (3) no employee from the outsourcing company will be prejudiced by the BPO.
These conditions are strict requirements because unscrupulous and irresponsible businesses frequently employ flimsy, underhanded, and unethical reasons for outsourcing business operations. Some companies use BPO to bust labor unions, to “shop around” and play labor against each other which often result in labor trying to underbid each other to get the contract. Wages and working conditions suffer.
BPO should be done only because the company has legitimate and honest reasons for the outsourcing decision.
TaN: There are two fundamental values of things: the value according to its usefulness (its true worth, based on our need) and the value according to the market (its assigned worth, based on our want). Oftentimes, we value things not based on its usefulness to us but based on how much they cost. And, this is a major reason for consumerism, for mass poverty, for the ever widening disparity/gap between the uber rich and the rest of the world.
The masses have been conditioned to think of value in terms of what they want and not what they need. This leads to the improper expenditure of hard-earned income – like prioritizing junk food over nutritional food, spending expensive clothes and accessories when ordinary ones will do, and putting money on lottery and other gambling activities when there is hardly enough budget for daily food on the table.
Big Business, through clever marketing campaigns and advertising schemes that are based on studies on human psychology, are able to twist and manipulate the minds of the masses into confusing needs and wants and convince impulsive and gullible consumers into purchasing needless wants even when their needs have not yet been satisfied.
As in the story of the “Jar of Life” – see: http://sechangersoi.be/EN/5EN-Tales/StonesPebblesSand.htm – one must, first, assess what are the important things in one’s life (like God, family, friends, causes, legacies, health) and prioritize them. Then come the less important things, those that are still important but not as much (like house, job, car, possessions). Finally, those that add spice to life but are not essential (like festivities).
In the wrong sequence, one life will be wasted. This rings true with values. If we prioritize wants over needs, our lives will not be fulfilling. Moreover, even for wants, according to Buddhist economics, the value we put on wants show by how long its useful or productive life is in our possession. Even if something is a want, we increase its intrinsic value by extending its productive life. This way, we maximize the utility of the want while minimizing the depleting impact on natural resources needed to manufacture them because there will be less need for replacement products as the current ones are still in use.
In conclusion, many of us know the “Jar of Life“, but that knowledge remains as knowledge and is not converted into wisdom – i.e., we know it but we do not live it (Knowledge is garbage until it is applied. Wisdom is knowledge applied. Only when Knowledge become Wisdom does it become Power). Until we transform that knowledge into wisdom, that knowledge has no meaning, it has no impact, it makes no difference.