The other night my son Kayden and I read about a true story from 1919.
Back in those days, molasses was being converted into alchohol and used as a key ingredient for bombs in World War I.
1 company constructed a massive steel container in a small Boston town and filled it with molasses.
Almost instantly the structure begain to leak, pouring molasses down the sides.
The residents complained, the kids enjoyed a tasty treat and the company, rather than fix the problem, painted the container brown so the leaks wouldn’t be as noticeable.
One morning, what was thought to be machine gun fire, was heard throughout the community.
The rivets holding the giant pieces of metal shell containing the molasses, went bursting and shooting through the air.
The sound of pop, pop, pop, pop, pop, pop was heard as the townspeople ran for their lives.
A massive mountain of molasses sped through the streets at a staggering 25 miles per hour.
In addition to the terribly destructive mess that was left, 25 people lost their lives.
Within a few days this story spread through my little family and yesterday, as I was coming into the garage, I noticed my 4 boys all standing around.
“Boys” I said, “If that company would have made a decision to follow the golden rule, would all of those people have died?”
The boys thought for a moment and then one by one responded, “No, dad, no one would have died.”
“A lot of problems in business and life can be avoided,” I reminded them.
Perhaps through this story we can catch the essence of why Gandhi listed “Commerce without Morality” as one of his 7 social sins.
A dollar in the bank without a dollars worth of value returned, is not an enlightened dollar.
A business with a head for numbers and no heart for people might win the race and lose the marathon.
Principles may be invisible to the eye, but the touch they leave on the heart is palpable.
As Jesus questioned, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world and lose his own soul?”
Lady wisdom whispers and reminds of that which perhaps, we already know to be true.
May we have the courage to proceed accordingly.