As we celebrate Labor Day here in the states I would like to offer up some simple concepts presented by in the
Sigālovāda Sutra – Yes, The Buddha taught about concepts of work and employment within our communities.

In five ways an employer should respect workers and servants . . . :

1) By allocating work according to an individuals aptitude.

2) By providing them with compensation for their efforts and skills.

3) Through consideration for them when they are sick or within times of emotional discomfort.

4) By sharing the benefits and rewards of their efforts.

5) By providing them reasonable time off from work to balance other aspects of life and living.

In turn there are  four ways an employee should respect their employers (or masters as refereed to in the text). So respected, workers and servants reciprocate with compassion in five ways:

1) By being willing to start early and finish late when necessary for the betterment of all.

2) By taking only what their employer gives them to work with and understanding this limits to their fullest.

3) By doing their assigned tasks well.

4) By promoting their employer’s good reputation and in turn their own for work and efforts well done.

5) By honoring the relationship formed through gainful employment.

The Buddha was on his mark well ahead of his time and outlined principles that can and should serve all well on both sides of the employer’s and employee’s side of the equation. In the end I think these concepts are finding their place with companies that truly wish to not simply have a job done, but benefit from the relationships formed by working together.

Peace and Love, Jim

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