Based on the Baha’i Writings, the suggestions below may hopefully help you to bring about this fundamental change in your character and your everyday economic actions. There are 53 suggestions but we discuss 9 on this blog. The remaining will come on the future blogs.
This list of suggestions may seem overwhelming, and you may not be able to practice all those that apply to your situation. But you have to remember that it is not about the results; it is about sincere and wholehearted efforts. It is a pure intention that counts.
- Focus on the essential questions of life. After answering the questions “Who am, I?” and “What is the purpose of my life?” the equally important question of “How much is enough?” should be answered. One of the biggest problems everyone faces is that we do not get a chance to understand who we are and what constitutes the purpose of our lives. Also, we are so busy that we do not ask how much money is enough. How much do we need to live a fruitful life? Practice contentment. Life distracts us from asking ourselves some fundamental questions. Answering these questions can guide us to go through tests and difficulties in life.
- Live a simple life, a life like Abdu’l-Bahá. Living a simple life brings peace of mind and removes some of the distractions of our life journey. Many studies indicate that simplicity reduces stress in life and creates a sense of freedom from the burden of material possessions. There is a movement already in place called “voluntary simplicity” that encourages people to live a simple life. There are some benefits in living a simple life. It is a decision made by many who had too much to handle.
- Change your mind set. You need to believe that you are essentially a spiritual being and have a spiritual purpose in your life. You need to realize your spiritual destiny. Once this is realized, then acting accordingly is much more effective and easy. This mindset will help you to have a healthy approach to your material life. Every change begins first in your mind.
- Pay a fair price. If you feel that the price is too low, pay more than the asking price. The Báb practiced this when He worked as a merchant. One of the most beautiful things related to economic activities is the commitment of fair-minded people to disregard existing prices and pay more because they believe their estimate of the price to be fair.
- Share the profits with employees. Abdu’l-Bahá taught us how important it is for the workers to have a share of the profits. Besides profit-sharing, there are many ways to help. Get medical coverage for employees. Support the emotional and physical wellbeing of employees. Taking care of workers is a privilege and an opportunity to be of service to people. Looking for such opportunities is a wonderful act.
- Pay fair wages, not based on what society dictates. We do not need to follow the minimum wage guidelines. The Baha’i Writings provide the guidelines to ensure that we pay what we feel is fair. Again the wage guidelines should not prevent us from paying more if we think that is fair.
- Be honest in your dealings. Present it with all the facts explained. In our society, we tend to misrepresent a product or share only enough information to present it in the best possible light.
Truthfulness is the foundation of all the virtues. When selling your car, house or other possessions, clearly describe the real condition. Mentioning the negative points about a car or a house is not wrong. I have done it, and it did help me to get a good price.
- Provide the best quality of service or the best product possible and do so in a spirit of service. We are privileged to have the assurance that by doing our job well, we have demonstrated an act of worship. Make customer satisfaction a goal. There is more to our jobs than just earning money. How satisfying it is to know that the customer is happy and we have played a part in it. Being proud of our work is a blessing millions do not have. They make money but are not happy and satisfied inside.
- Look for opportunities to extend to co-workers and co-operate in the workplace. Most workplaces are very isolating, and individuals work by themselves. To reach out and extend help and to treat each other fairly creates a better spirit and working environment. Extend support to others, even your competitors. Be a cause of unity by seeing them as you would see your own employees or colleagues and doing as much as you can to help them.