Peace management

I once worked for a corporation that was made up of a dozen smaller but individually successful companies. The owner of the parent company had promised each branch it would be permitted to continue its moneymaking ways.

At first it seemed like a good idea, but the branches were all former competitors. The managers of those branches were barely on speaking terms. Having the same corporate name and mission statement did not reconcile their differences.

Then a technology shift occurred in the industry, and it was suddenly essential that all branch companies work toward the same goal of understanding the problem and implementing a shared solution.

I was asked to chair a panel, made up of mid-level technology managers, that would begin this process. Consulting my branch manager, I found he provided little guidance because his area of expertise was competition, not cooperation.

On the way to that first meeting, a three-hour drive, I prayed constantly. I realized that only one infinite Mind, God, has the necessary answers. I also recalled something that Mary Baker Eddy wrote in her book "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures": "Mortals are egotists. They believe themselves to be independent workers, personal authors, and even privileged originators of something which Deity would not or could not create. The creations of mortal mind are material. Immortal spiritual man alone represents the truth of creation" (p. 263).

I didn't dare walk into that series of meetings as an egotist or a "creator." I simply looked around the table and saw 12 complete, distinct, eager creations of God.

As such, we found it exceedingly easy to communicate and to bolster one another's efforts.

The agenda for each meeting was to address the latest development, help one another understand it, and take the information back to our branch. We made huge strides very quickly.

When the branch managers saw how easily their technology staff worked together, they began supporting one another. It was the beginning of a process that healed the entire corporation and led to a doubling and tripling of sales.

Business has a powerful incentive to resolve problems, to become brothers and sisters in one unifying cause. Solving a problem frequently leads to new efficiencies, which in turn can create new opportunities. It can result in more jobs, more profits, more financially sound communities.

There's an even more powerful incentive for the world to work together to resolve problems.

To do so could contribute to a cleaner environment; sufficient food, energy, and healthcare; and an end to war, to name a few. And isn't a love of God in the forefront of meeting this challenge?

Every religion, every organization dedicated to a better understanding of God, has somewhere in its teachings the essence of the commandment Jesus gave, "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." To be obedient to God, we love one another.

There's another benefit. Working with others to solve problems for mutual benefit can actually be fun. The ultimate result, after putting trust in God and loving our neighbor, is far better than anything else we could cling to.

Abram said unto Lot,
Let there be no strife,
I pray thee,
between me and thee,
and between my herdmen
and thy herdmen;
for we be brethren.
Genesis 13:8

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