• February 13, 2008

Testimony of a businessman

Antoine Treuille, at the ICCC Opening day, September 2007

Compassion con­sists in a one-on-one expe­ri­ence. There is this very per­sonal dimen­sion in Compassion.

Businessmen are not com­fort­able with Compassion. Over years, we have been taught in busi­ness schools that busi­nessmen are meant to serve the share­holders who must be their sole con­cern. In this sense, busi­nessmen are a-moral enti­ties, cor­po­ra­tions that serve a single pur­pose: the cre­ation of wealth. They forget that busi­ness is actu­ally the corner­stone of our society. They forget that busi­ness can serve many dif­ferent causes because it embraces so many actors: the employees and the sup­pliers but also the cus­tomers and, of course, the share­holders.

Our society is nonethe­less more and more aware of the destruc­tion of nature. Businessmen daily tackle the issue of sus­tain­able devel­op­ment. They should deepen this anal­ysis and include- and there is hope that per­haps, one day they will – the human dimen­sion, the human dig­nity. We must under­stand that each indi­vidual -the human as a body (as an animal), but also the human as a soul- is some­thing excep­tional that needs to be respected and pre­served, just as nature.

What does dif­fer­en­tiate, or per­haps, what does bring together com­pa­nies such as Verizon, Goldman Sachs, Bank of New York or Price Waterhouse? These are com­pa­nies in which the CEO has made a par­tic­ular com­mit­ment to Compassion.The CEOs of these com­pa­nies gen­er­ally have made a per­sonal com­mit­ment not in terms of money but in terms of time. Thay have often com­mitted to a one-on-one rela­tion­ship with a person in need.

And they are wise in doing so, for the expe­ri­ence of Compassion results in a feed­back pro­cess. If you start once helping some­body, reaching out and feeling what you get in return, it becomes a drug: you want to expe­ri­ence it again and again.

I think that a center such as the ICCC could be an excel­lent place to teach Compassion to the cor­po­rate world. I am con­vinced that’s a won­derful objec­tive. I strongly believe in it.”

Antoine Treuille
Managing Partner, Altamont Capital Partners, at the ICCC Opening day, September 2007


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