"Physical productivity reflects spiritual productivity," writes Cheryl Petersen. She says, "Productivity is complex, generally regulated by a variety of factors, including available labor, land, raw materials, facilities, education and skills, level of technology, methodologies, attitudes and behaviors. However, experience is teaching us that what appears to be productive can also be destructive. Exploiting our natural resources depletes and disfigures our earth. Laborers can be overworked. Food farms can be inhumane or a threat to well being."
What Petersen scratches at is the consideration of ethics within a capital structure.
Impact investors consider social returns as well as financial ones. This amounts to a certain type of ethical investing.
To be sure, there are religious investors who abide by certain principles of their faith. Islamic funds, Catholic funds and Lutheran investments come to mind.
But on the grand scale as part of a corporate culture and structure, spirituality largely goes out out the window. Laws prohibit discrimination for one thing. But as Petersen points out, "there are now over 1 billion cellphones in China and over 900 million cellphones in India, whereas there are hardly over 300 million cellphones in the United States. The cellphone numbers tout productivity, but can our earth support the manufacture and utilization of these numbers? Probably not. So, we ask the next question: How do we discover a balance between being productive and not destructive?"
The answer of course lies in mindfulness. It is the basis for all forms of spirituality.
Thomas M. Kostigen is a bestselling author whose latest book is Golden Dawn, available online and in bookstores.