Discover more from Christopher Titmuss - The Buddha Wallah
The issue is not corporate salaries and bonuses but obesity
The Buddha described greed as a poison of the mind. He tended to choose his words carefully. Poison is a substance that slowly or quickly takes away life. It destroys. It kills. Greed is poison.
There is regularly a genuine concern, if not revulsion, from the public of the greed of CEO’s, executives and investors in the corporate world. Governments make some utterances about persuading these powerful men, and some women, to reduce the size of their salaries and bonuses. Politicians believe this would help to subdue public disquiet, street protest and the editorials in newspapers and letter from readers.
The politicians and the media simple have not grasped the magnitude of the problem. Even if the huge salaries of the rich and shameless were reduced, it would not resolve the problem because it runs much deeper than figures on cheques.
Greed is a poison. It is a form of mental sickness, an unresolved pathology, an obsession, a compulsion that the leaders in the corporate world have no control over. “Greed is good” was the famous one liner from the film “Wall Street” made in the 1980’s. The one liner summarised the alarming degree of denial around the poison of greed.
The CEOs and those who sit around the board room tables negotiating their huge salaries and their bonus on an annual basis are suffering from a form of obesity, an obesity of wealth and power that cuts them off from the 99%.
Their obesity shows itself in the rabid desire to have more and more and more money and to spend every moment in the maximisation of pleasure and comfort. The intensity of the craving to make millions and millions of $$$ knows no end. This is not the sign of success. This is a mental illness, a form of addiction. It is not an obesity brought about through the constant consumption of junk food, with the addictive substances of salt, sugar and fats, possibly triggered by an unresolved emotional issue or the strength of a daily habit.
It is another form of obesity that poisons empathy with those who struggle financially, the poor and the sick. It is an obesity of the mind, an obesity of the ego. It is an imprisonment in expensive suits and ties and having others open and close the door for them of their luxury car.
The desire, the greed, the lust and holding onto power reveals the obesity of corporate executives . Men and women who run huge corporations live in need to feel self important in their boardrooms, often at the top of skyscrapers, and in front of their staff.
Society needs to show concern and compassion for these giants of corporate obesity who share unresolved psychological problems that need urgent attention.
There is something that can be done. The West has an army of social workers, psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, behavioural therapists, mindfulness teachers and doctors to address obsessions, compulsions and addictions. For example, behavioural therapists have much success in behavioural modification. They employ their skills so that clients can work with their particular psychopathology. Through practice, clients with obsessions and addictive patterns can eliminate their problems and reconnect with others rather than hide in isolation, a common feature of people with issues around obesity.
Social workers, behavioural therapists and others need to go to the exclusive offices of the CEO’s and board members, their estates, their exclusive hotels, yachts, private planes, villas and golf clubs, and wherever else they flee, to provide them with the real support and help that they need. It will not be easy. There is immense denial of this mental sickness and denial of the consequences not only for themselves, their families, their children but also their employees worldwide and the environment.
Other men, women and children struggling with obesity, junk food and associated patterns, generally speaking, have no wish to live in denial. To their credit, more and more people with obesity issues take advantage of counseling to regain control over their lives. They are willing to attend regular classes for guidance, often more than once a week, to establish a balanced diet and feel good about themselves. They know greed is not good.
The barons in the boardroom can take inspiration from people with food issues. The barons will need to acknowledge their problems with their form of obesity showing as the relentless desire to have and consume the best of everything, use the best of everything, regardless of the personal, social and global costs.
They need the skills and capacity of our social workers, therapists and counsellors to help them overcome their form of obesity. The first step in the boardrooms of banks and business is to accept they share a psychopathological problem and that they need urgent help.
Our heart reaches out to the boardrooms. All a CEO or executive has to do is to pick up the phone and call social services for support. There are countless loving and caring people in social services with the skills to change behavioural problems.