World Forum for Ethics in Business at Amstelveen, Netherlands
Let’s see, are we all here now? 100%?
Do you know, our present includes the past and the future? The anxiety about the future and regret about the past are all in the present moment.
Now the challenge is how to sail through these opposing currents with the light of hope in our hand. And now this light of hope that we are holding is under a big storm. Somehow we have to save this light of hope.
I want to tell you about an incident that happened in 1999.
At the end of the last millennium, there were rumors that on the 31st December 1999, the world was going to crash. Now this was because the computers were not programmed to take up any more programs and so everything would collapse. And so, there was this fear-psychosis spread all over the world, and more so in North America.
People even started storing food in their cellars. They were buying groceries and milk powder. There was a scarcity of milk powder in Canada, can you imagine? This was because everyone went on a shopping spree, buying food and storing it in their cellars expecting a big disaster to happen.
At that time, I took a whirlwind tour of nearly 100 cities in a matter of two and a half months. In the morning I was in one place and by evening I was at another place, and my only message was to say that ‘Everything will be okay, don’t worry. Business will be as usual, please don’t worry and please do not store things in your cellars. It is not needed. ’ Everywhere the same question kept coming.
Once again, this year in the past month I toured about 20 cities in 14 countries and everywhere people have been asking, ‘What is the fate of this world on 20-12-2012. We hear there is going to be a disaster.’
I said, ‘This will only be in the American movies. The world will not come to an end. If it comes to an end, it will only be in the movies. Things will be as usual and you just carry on.’
A sense of relief comes into us when we hear that there is no longer a doomsday anywhere near. We are able to sit back and relax, and enjoy our cup of tea and watch television.
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