IBCM defines Ethical Responsibility and Fiscal Responsibility. Ethical Responsibility could not have been defined but for the Role Models who appeared on this planet. An extract from the book on the occasion of the forthcoming Thanksgiving Day:
There are four categories of people. 1. People of wisdom; 2. People pursuing knowledge; 3. People pursuing wealth and 4. People in distress. Humanity is a substance and people of wisdom represent the quality aspect of the substance holding the mandate of ethical responsibility. Logically they are the ones who are elected as representatives of the electorate and sent to the legislature to enact laws upholding the democratic principle of ‘government for the people’. It is yet to happen, however. The other three categories belong to the action process of the substance holding the fiscal responsibility. People pursuing knowledge are very essential to the human development. So are the third category People pursuing wealth. These people create opportunities for the rest to get on with their lives. But the capabilities of the first three are towards giving succour, the very purpose of their existence, to the last category – people in distress. The men of wisdom balance the other three to create a ‘government for the people’ or in other words a humane society.
One person of wisdom did it in his lifetime an extra-ordinary work by balancing the wealth creation to the benefit of the people in distress, George Washington Carver. It was a great relief for the farmers as well a great boon for the industry. George Washington Carver was born into slavery during the Civil War. While still enslaved, outlaws stole George and his mother Mary from Moses Carver. A Union scout found George and returned him to the Carvers. George Washington Carver (1860–1943) [his date of birth could not be established] invented peanut butter and 400 plant products. Carver instructed the farmers to plant peanuts, which could be harvested easily and fed to livestock. The farmers were ecstatic with the tremendous quality of cotton and tobacco they grew later but quickly grew angry because the amount of peanuts they harvested was too plentiful and began to rot in overflowing warehouses. Within a week, Carver had experimented with and devised dozens of uses for the peanut, including milk and cheese. In later years he would produce more than 300 products that could be developed from the lowly peanut, including ink, facial cream, shampoo and soap. Suddenly, the same farmers who cursed him now found that a new industry had sprung up that could use their surplus peanuts. Next, Carver looked at ways of utilizing the sweet potato and was able to develop more than 115 products from it including flour, starch and synthetic rubber (the United States Army utilized many of his products during World War I.) Suddenly Carver’s fame grew and grew until he was invited to speak before the United States Congress and was consulted by titans of industry and invention. Henry Ford, head of Ford Motor Company invited Carver to his Dearborn, Michigan plant where the two devised a way to use goldenrod, a plant weed, to create synthetic rubber. Thomas Edison, the great inventor was so enthusiastic about that he asked Carver to move to Orange Grove, New Jersey to work at the Edison Laboratories at an annual salary of $100,000 per year and state of the art facilities. He declined the generous offer, wanting to continue on at Tuskegee. A portion of his epitaph reads: “A life that stood out as a gospel of self-forgetting service. Could have added fortune to fame, but caring for neither, he found happiness and honor in being helpful to the world.”i A single George Washington Carver today in Africa can transform the continent as the most vibrant economy in the world, a man of wisdom.
Action is superior to inaction. Knowledge is superior to Action. Thanksgiving is superior to Knowledge. Renunciation of fruits of action is superior to Thanksgiving, that after his death it was found he did not encash many of the cheques given to him for his work. Not many ever walked on this planet ten feet as tall as George Washington Carver.
Jayaraman Rajah Iyer
Author of Inactivity Based Cost Management:
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