Right Livelihood – Doing Well By Doing Good

Sections of this topic

    You will recall from my last post that the Eight Fold Path is a Buddhist approach to living and working to create greater peace, wisdom and compassion. The Eight Fold Path includes Right Livelihood, Right Action, Speech, Intentions, etc.

    Many caring people don’t ever stop to question if what they are doing is the right thing, not ask the harder questions about what their company profits are used for, nor examine the end result of their business.

    • If the system you are supporting through your work isn’t affirming life in some way, what are you called to do?
    • If you aren’t working on a product or project that is life giving, life enhancing, are you doing the right thing with your time and talent?
    • Is the ultimate outcome of your work life affirming or life diminishing?

    Luckily, there is an approach to business that does affirm life- The Triple Bottom Line of People, Planet and Profits. The philosophy of the Social Venture Network (SVN) started by Judy Wicks and others is to ‘Do Well by Doing Good’. SVN includes many wonderful examples of Social Entrepreneurship such as fair trade companies and neighborhood empowerment businesses.

    Judy Wicks in front of White Dog Cafe

    Social Entrepreneurship, along with the Triple Bottom Line approach, provide another option for running a business than the traditional view of corporate profits above all else. We’ve seen the destruction and damage done with the singular philosophy of profit maximization and the growth of the Military Industrial Complex. It’s time for another approach.

    Check out www.svn.org to see a list of the SVN member companies and corporate philosophy- SVN Video You can also read wonderful stories of people living Right Livelihood in Yes! Magazine. Go to their ‘New Economy’ tab. (http://www.yesmagazine.org/ ) to read about companies who are using their entrepreneurial spirit to make the world more just and compassionate.

    I welcome your thoughts and perspectives on this issue. During this time of economic re-structuring we have a unique opportunity to rebuild a new economy that serves everyone.

    Share with us your reflections on Right Livelihood, The Triple Bottom Line, and Doing Well By Doing Good.

    May your heart expand and express itself this week through your work – Happy Valentine’s Day


    For more resources, see our Library topic Spirituality in the Workplace.


    Linda is an author, speaker, coach, and consultant. Go to her website www.lindajferguson.com to read more about her work, view video clips of her talks, and find out more about her book “Path for Greatness: Spirituality at Work” available on Amazon.