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Going Above and Beyond

When I used to prepare the consolidated financial statements and note disclosures and draft the MD&A for a publicly listed company in the oil and gas industry, management aimed at reporting the bare minimum required. They basically saw the quarterly and annual reporting as a pain-in-the-ass task that they must get over. On the contrary, I felt it was an exciting time, to be able to communicate to the world how our business was doing, and I wanted to release certain information that was not previously disclosed so to give users greater transparency to understand our operations. But management said no, mainly because they were able to get the external auditors not to insist on it. It’s all politics.

I felt disappointed, that me as an accountant could not fulfill my fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of the stockholders, because from my perspective, it’s an opportunity to tell the users our story. It’s about including the financial users in everything we do. Everything we do, we do it for “us,” us as in the people who operate and manage, as well as the people who own the company.

But I think management saw it differently. Or at least, they based their decisions on their annual bonuses, their career path, their reputation, etc.

. . .

Yesterday and today, I helped a neighbor to walk his dog twice a day. He said the job should only take 10 to 15 minutes per visit. But yesterday I took over 30 minutes each visit. The problem was that his dog didn’t eat, so the neighbor’s instruction included doing a few things to try to lure the dog. And the dog didn’t poop nor pee much, which then made me walk him longer and slower, hopefully to give him the mood to excrete.

Frankly, the dog is a bit of an enigma for me, because I don’t know him well, I was only asked to make sure he excreted a proper amount, which is only part of the problem, because the other part of the inherent problem is that he’s quite old so he’s deaf and blind with some health issues, so I honestly do not have the full picture to assess what is a proper amount for him to excrete, and so I just walked him longer hoping that he would fully excrete, but because of his old age, he walked slow, so I had to match his bodily rhythm in order to get him more in the mood to do his business.

The neighbor said he sometimes needed encouragement to pee, so you would have to put his nose right up against his pee spots, which seemed to be in quite a few places, but I don’t really know how that would work considering the fact that it has been raining quite a bit these few days, so if the effectiveness of that tactic is based on getting him to smell urine on those spots, he probably won’t smell much.

So even though it’s a very simple job, but a few variables had complicated the scenario, and I wasn’t sure if he had excreted all that he had inside, because he trembled as he stood, which meant that he didn’t have enough physical strength, and many times when he assumed the pooping posture and tried to push, his body visibly tremble, as if pooping was a difficult job requiring a lot of effort, and often nothing came out, but he’s not constipated though, because when his excrement did come out, it was of a healthy texture and shape.

So I was thinking, even though the neighbor’s requirement for me is to make sure he ate and excreted, I took quite a lot longer to do so because I was trying to synchronize to the dog’s rhythm and energy, which obviously is slow and low. And because he wasn’t doing both efficiently, I had to tune in to observe him a lot more, which required more time and patience. I did make some strange observations, though I do not understand them because I am only required to be there 15 minutes max each time, so even if I wanted to do more, it’s not part of the agreement, and I don’t want to get into a situation where I am expected to do more than what’s agreed, because that would be an imbalanced exchange.

. . .

A while ago Jutta mentioned articles generated by ChatGPT instead of by a human writer, which again is in line with the theme of the above two situations where we rarely see people going above and beyond to make a difference in the world. Nowadays even volunteering is about politics, networking, personal benefits, etc.

Last year a friend wanted to find an engineering job and decided to expand his network, and suddenly wanted to do any kind of volunteering jobs perhaps because at the time I was volunteering. But he didn’t search for volunteering opportunities online, instead he asked my friend to bring him into her corporate volunteering program which he was not allowed to enter because he’s not an employee there. So I wondered if his aim was really to make a contribution to the community or to get a job (by getting someone to help him).

I am writing about this theme because it’s about our energy–wherever our attention goes, that’s where our energy lands. If your ulterior motive is money or job, then even though you’re doing charity, your energy won’t actually contribute to the charity work. Instead, it will be just going through the motion, like how ChatGPT is going through the motion but not necessarily touching lives because the software itself does not generate energy, so while you read its articles, you will sense that it is lifeless.

But I am not suggesting that you go above and beyond what you’re paid to do, because that kind of scenario might entail an inflexible framework that might impede and frustrate rather than allowing you to be the best that you can be while benefiting the world.

I am thinking more so along the lines of exteriorizing our inner most passions, potentials, talents, etc., to benefit, touch, and contribute to the world in a supportive environment. Part of the equation is that we be the best version of ourselves, doing what we truly believe and enjoy. The other part of the equation is to project and manifest such an environment, by visualizing it, believing it, and feeling it happening.

When our energy touches others, deeply; money, reputation, and success will eventually come to us, because the energy trail we establish with the world is linked deeply with the core of our being, so whatever flows out will eventually flows back in.

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