What is your understanding of business? REFLECTING ON BUSINESS

“I have seen the business that God has given to the children of man to be busy with.”
Ecclesiastes 3:10 (ESV)

At times, I think about what business God intends every person to be busy with. Seems to me that except for some with “special calling”, the rest of us have to choose from a potpourri of tasks available to us. In the space age society, there are a lot of things that can be done from simple manual things to highly complex mental tasks. This digital content is a product of both manual and mental activity. I got busy with my fingers getting my thoughts digital ready. At the same thing, my mind was busy thinking through the ideas and the thoughts there are in my brain. 

For what ends though are people busy with? There is no single answer to this question. It depends in part on the nature and purpose of the business or the activity. What then is business though? Business as commonly understood today is an economic activity. To borrow the words of a consultant I personally know, “[business is a vocation to create, to help and to serve].” Creating, helping and serving can be very simple like giving a hand in carrying things or giving a glass of water to a thirsty person. Other forms of creating, serving and helping can be very complex. In the space age, creating space crafts is no easy thing to do. Helping people with their start up business or expand and grow their existing businesses is no easy feat. Helping those who have been devastated by typhoons is no easy task. This kind of business entails a lot of things to do or to be busy with. Allow me to get back to the fundamentals of business or the simplest things the children of men get busy with.
In reflecting on business I came to sense that a way to understand it is by comparison with idleness. A person alive can either be idle or busy. Being idle is doing nothing and being busy is doing something. That is the simplest qualification I can think of – doing something or nothing. Doing nothing is letting time pass by without getting anything done. This is idleness. Doing something is getting something done as time passes by. This is business. With this simple and bare thought, I am convinced that I have already arrived at the fundamental knowledge and understanding of business. Thus, for as long as a person is doing something, I say that person is in business. I cannot and should not stop here though. There must be something more about being busy. Does a person get busy for the sake of being busy? Most likely not. A person does something for a reason or purpose. Let us now apply here the the idea of business as creating, helping and serving. That is, doing something “to create, help and serve”.


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