As the future of work becomes more global, we have to prepare for a radical paradigm shift in our workplaces1. Diversity will influx as a consequence of globalization and modernization. Cities and regions will become more populated, specialized and diversified2. Effective communication, solidarity and welfare in workplaces are much needed now than ever.
How can we sustain effective communication in a globalized yet pluralistic society? How can we attain harmony in the workplace when there’s a mass of ideologies? I think that in order to address a need that is global in nature, we need a solution that is also global in nature.
In one word, I say that the solution is truth. Truth is defined as reality, genuineness or actuality3. But most notable is its three distinguishing qualities that make it as a champion for effective communication: (1)Truth is global. (2) Truth is peace-making (3) Truth is ascending. Let’s look at each of them:
First, truth is global. Truth is precious in the workplace because it transcends cultures. What is exact science in the Caucasians, is also true in the Asians and other parts of the globe. A discovery of truth, is a discovery of a tool that can navigate beyond race, nations and borders. It eclipses time and space. It’s a universal language.
Truth is as universal as love. They are inseparable4. Without truth, love can never exist because love rejoices in the truth5. Taking the opposite, love grieves in deception. Love longs for truth, not avoids it. Love weakens when lies creep into a relationship. When deception abounds, love withers. Love treasures genuineness. Love wants to be faithful, not fake-ful. It is genuine love if truth has revealed the ugly parts but you are still loved. Nations and cultures won’t experience the spirit of love in the workplace if one party is deceptive. Without truth, love is wounded.
As multi-cultural societies will increase more in the 21st century workplace6, diversities will kiss each other, belief systems will sit next to each other and vast differing worldviews will become next-door neighbors for the sake of socio-economic pursuits.
“But who is my neighbor?,” asked by a shrewd lawyer a couple of thousand years ago. His question revealed the selectivity of our human hearts. We are bent to love only those who share common interests. What if our neighbor has totally different beliefs? Religion? Sexual orientation? Or income class? What if we see them by the roads of life lying in the deadness of the downcast, shall we “waste” our time for them?
Second, truth is peace-making. I think that truth is one of the most peace-making powers in the workplace and the world. One word that affirms the significant relationship between peace and truth— covenants. Covenants simply mean agreements. Humans cannot escape covenants nor can they live without it. From the moment we wake-up til we lie down, from the moment we’re born to the moment we die, we live and die within covenants. Let’s look at the role of covenants in our ordinary day:
When we wake up on weekdays, we try to move fast as we could so we won’t be late at work. Why? Because we signed a covenant with our employer. We agreed to come at a certain time and they agreed to pay us a certain amount. We may ride a taxi and we enter in agreement with the driver the moment we step in. He promises to transport us, we promise to pay him. We come home at a certain time because we may have an agreement to date our wife or play chess with our daughter. Until we die, our bodies may lie at a coffin and memorial park because we had a signed covenant with them. Taking it to higher levels, workplaces and nations can only be peaceful if each party becomes true to treaties and bilateral agreements. Truth must be observed in negotiations and diplomacy. Without it, devastating conflicts, disconnections or even wars may arise.7
Life is therefore covenantal. Covenants or agreements are only effectual if we are truthful. The more truthful we are to our covenants, the more peace there will be in our relationships and workplace. The more we make broken covenants, the more conflicts will there be in our life.8 A covenant-keeping society is a peaceful society. Without truthfulness, there will be no peace, no order and no shalom– a Hebrew word which means peace or prosperity. The Hebrew language is a concrete and pictographic language. It captures the essence. It knows that without peace, there will be no prosperity because they are only one— one word.
Finally, truth is ascending. All truth moves upward. All truth meets at the top. Truth lifts the society out of poverty. When the world stepped backwards and acknowledged the existence of universal absolute truth, this gave rise to the concept of free inquiry, universal ministry of every man, empirical investigation and scientific breakthroughs. The presupposition that all truth is singular encouraged the idea that all truth in the universe is interconnected, and without that interconnectedness and absoluteness, the whole universe would collapse and science will fail. Because of that staggering philosophy, enlightenment came and science prospered9. This is getting hard nowadays because our world is now becoming more post-modern.
Nevertheless, why does truth produce progress? Because it’s exact. It is not vague, obscure, or nebulous. Progress is made through exact science. Precision prospers a nation. One example is engineering. Engineering is exact truth. A city can only progress if their engineers adhere to the glorious truths of engineering. Since truth is absolute, formulas can be tested, established and globally replicated.
Truth is vital for the economy. Without truth, banks, investors, creditors, producers and marketers could intentionally produce false reports, false marketing and false labels- leading nations to ruin. Fake news could affect national or global order. Without truth, standards and weights can be falsified- deceiving the market. Without truth, society becomes unpredictable. An unpredictable and uncertain society is a breeding ground for investor turn-out.
Again, truth is exact, that’s why it moves up. One can never ascend on shaky foundations. Without absolutes, society suffers from relativism10, personal feelings of emperors will dictate the standards, leading to chaos. “What is truth?” asked by Pilate. This question exposed his worldview. He lived in a world with no absolute truth. Truth was only orchestrated by whoever was the governing power or class. As an effect, slavery was rampant. Human rights were denied because life’s value was determined only by the mighty and not by an absolute overarching truth.
Without the presence of absolutes, the will and whims of the dominant govern. The interests of some become the overtaking authority above the rights of the individual. The relativist suffers from shaky grounds, wavering standards and decline of confidence over the long term.
Wrapping up: In the presence of truth, there will be a universal entity that will govern diversified workplaces and societies. In the absence of truth, love won’t exist and expendable conflicts would arise in our global society.
In the presence of truth, reconciliation will always emerge because we will welcome that every culture has seeds of values, allowing us to achieve international understanding. In the absence of truth, agreements will be sabotaged and fake reports will be a norm, causing distress and poverty.
In the presence of truth, investors and business won’t fear being deceived, leading to man’s financial and spiritual prosperity. In the absence of truth, a person or society becomes unreliable which will cause him unemployment and disconnection.
If the universal king whose name is Truth and Love sits on the throne and governs communication, workplaces would behold global peace and progress as much as the sun sets on the sea.
- Workplace Trends by Sodexo http://www.sodexo.com/files/live/sites/sdxcom-global/files/PDF/Media/Sodexo-2017-workplace-trends-report.pdf, Accessed Sept 2, 2017
- Diversity and Specialisation in Cities; Gilles Duranton and Diego Puga. https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/61d6/043de4ec70e054ab0554e11ea742dc2e0ace.pdf
- Truth definition: http://krishnamurti.abundanthope.org/index_htm_files/Truth-and-Actuality-by-J-Krishanmurti.pdf
- 1 John 3:18 ESV
- 1 Corinthians 13:6 ESV
- http://www.who.int/kobe_centre/publications/hiddencities_media/ch1_who_un_habitat_hidden_cities.pdf accessed Sept 1, 2017
- Peace agreements http://www.beyondintractability.org/essay/structuring_peace_agree
- http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0011/001143/114357eo.pdf Accessed Aug 30, 2017
Ethical Relativism: http://www.allaboutphilosophy.org/ethical-relativism-faq.htm