My friends and family know that if they ever want to be insulted, all they need to do is to start discussing religion with me. I am an unashamed heathen, and my loved ones have learned that there is no hope of converting me, no matter how good the wine at communion is.
Cruising my usual forums, I have recently come across a practice that is widespread, but – I suspect – not limited to Kenyans: bibliomancy. Faced with a dilemna, believers will turn to the Bible, select a random passage, and use that as the basis for their decision. There is even a website for those who may not have a Bible to hand (I am trying desperately hard not to swear or make inappropriate jokes).
Now, this kind of spiritual guidance, while idiosyncratic (I’m trying to be polite) when applied to your personal life, has no place at all in business decisions. I am enthusiastic for all business endeavours, even those in direct competition with my own effort, but I would not shed a tear for any business or entrepreneur who saw their business go under as a result of this strategy.
The Bible is, of nothing else, a book of contradictions. For every entreaty to turn the other cheek, there is another demanding an eye for an eye. In various passages, it condones slavery , spousal abuse and turning over your daughters to be raped. I’m not going to quote every contentious passage; as I consider the Good Book to be nothing more than a collection of fairy tales; I may as well quote Dr. Seuss.
Business, like nature, is red in tooth and claw. The weak fail, while the strong and pragmatic survive. For a business to thrive, there must be a coherent strategy. This depends on cashflow, profit projections and a clear plan as to how the business is to proceed. If you don’t have this, you have only dreams.
I would love to tell Christian believers that they could achieve the giddy heights of corporate success by reading the Bible. I would love to tell them that they had nothing to fear from the real world or from contradictions in their Holy Book. I do, however, feel that they should be warned that the Bible may not actually contain all of the answers they seek. But perhaps I am simply too cynical. Alternatively, perhaps I have seen too much.
[Image by KnowHimOnline]