On November 5, 2013, a man named Bret Raymond came in to speak to our Enactus class about the role of business in society. This class period was extremely powerful, and started me thinking about the role of business in my own life as well. I have never been an incredibly ‘business-minded’ person, but I have always enjoyed administration. This love for organization and administration is what led me to pursue a minor in business management, but I was not prepared for the change in my opinions about business that have begun to take place.
Enactus has opened my eyes to the power of business and entrepreneurship and the way that it can be paired with any career path or passion in order to make a positive difference. Bret Raymond talked specifically about social business, which, I have recently found, is something I am interested in pursuing. There were two major points of his lecture that impacted me the most. Primarily, it was the idea of ‘the power of the invitation.’ What he meant by this is that we are not always going to know what to do, but the hope is that we will know people who do know what to do. It is in our power to ask for help and direction. This is a great opportunity if we choose to take it.
Mr. Raymond also introduced us to the true story of a man by the name of Rabbi Moshe, who was a rabbi in North Africa. He was alive from 1135-1204, and he wrote Maimonides Eight Levels of Giving. In this list, the 8th, or lowest, level of giving is giving grudgingly with a bad attitude. The levels progress from shallower giving into what he considered the most selfless. The most amazing part of this this document is level one. Level One is the idea of helping someone become self-sufficient. This level, when translated, says that the highest form of tzedakah is to help someone find a job or set them up in business, because this preserves their dignity and empowers them to find their own strength and, in turn, give to others. It is amazing that, even so many years ago, the principles that Enactus is built upon were found to be the highest form of giving in the mind of Rabbi Moshe and many others.
This idea, and Enactus in general, have increased my interest to learn more about social business and what part it may play in my life moving forward.
By Meaghan Ranz