From the same author (PB Law), tongue firmly planted in cheek:
Buddhism Receives Coveted Pro-Business Rating
NEW YORK—A 20-year public relations campaign by major Buddhist leaders appears to have paid off, according to a business-climate poll released today by Business Week magazine. For the first time in the 50-year history of the poll, business leaders across the country have ranked Buddhism among the nation’s top ten business-friendly religions.
“This is a dramatic turn-around,” reported Gregory Hobbes, Business Week’s religion watchdog. “Only 25 years ago Buddhism was deep in the ‘actively unfriendly’ category, due to the chilly climate created by its emphasis on contentment, renunciation, and karmic responsibility. When Small is Beautiful was published in the early seventies, Buddhism’s rating hit an all-time low from which we thought it would never recover. But thanks to the concerted efforts of a new breed of enlightened Buddhist teacher-entrepreneurs, that image has been totally erased. Buddhism has shown convincingly that it is willing and able to do business on our terms.”
Among the factors cited by Hobbes to explain the turn-around:
•The tacit abandoning of any teachings that might question the values of the modern business corporation. “With a little help from the publishing industry, Buddhists have done a brilliant inside job on the doctrine of karmic consequences, for which they’ve been amply rewarded. And their willingness to waive copyright on the concept of nirvana for use in advertising was a savvy touch,” Hobbes commented.
•The recent spate of Buddhist books celebrating the workplace as the ideal context for a complete spiritual life. “This way,” Hobbes noted, “Buddhism doesn’t get in the way of the increasing demands that executives are forced to place on their employees in today’s competitive environment. Buddhist employees can feel that they’re practicing their religion at the same time they’re meeting their quarterly targets.”
•The Buddhist contribution to motivational literature and programs. “For years Buddhists have been teaching executives mental skills that not only increase their productivity but allow them to find fulfillment in their work, no matter how demeaning or mind-deadening the job. But what really pushed Buddhists into the top ten this year was their recent media blitz to promote faith as a verb without a specific object, a motivational self-confidence that can be pointed in any direction at all. This opens unlimited opportunities for personnel directors all over the country.”
•The cultivation of an ideal experience-consumer attitude. “With American business increasingly geared toward providing experiences rather than mere products to its customers, we need to teach the public how to enjoy experiences enough to keep them hooked but not so much as to get them sated. Buddhists, with their training in embracing each experience as it comes and then letting it go to embrace whatever experience comes next, have shown imaginative leadership in fostering the right experience-consumption mentality.”
•The business of Buddhism itself. “Not only has Buddhism been what you might call a Buddha-send to the publishing and advertising industries, the recent rash of five-star Club Meditation retreat centers springing up around the country has given the construction industry a real shot in the arm.”