19 Nov 2010
(Sri Sri's address from the World Forum for Ethics in Business in Brussels, Nov.19)
2000 years ago, Rishi Kautilya had said that the basis of ethics is economy, the basis of economy is state and the basis of state is civil society. If the civil society is not following ethics, the state can't do anything about it.
And civil society has to follow ethics.
What can uplift the society?
Usually the youth are of the opinion that you can't succeed if you are not unethical. Now, people are becoming more aware after the crisis.
In Chinese, the same word means crisis and opportunity. Recently a prominent businessman in India was asked why he doesn't take bribes. He replied that he wants good sleep. What people are looking for is an example. Many people can describe crisis, but only few can turn it around. Good ethics gives good sleep and good profit.
Ethical practices are essential for a good economy. We need to come up with practical solutions. 90 per cent of the population is honest! People are waiting for examples and support.
We need to caution people without creating fear and anxiety. Spiritual values can reinstate faith in humans.
Everyone has needs and responsibilities. See how we can reduce our needs and increase the responsibilities. This is absolutely essential in today's world. When the equation between needs and responsibility is disturbed, then we have chaos.
In Hyderabad a group of our people refused to give a bribe for getting license for their business. They said we are willing to come 50 times, we respect you but we cannot give bribes. It completely transformed the mindset of the people. The group received 10 licenses. Young people, young blood can transform the way business is practiced.
We need to set examples among the state and stakeholders.