On a recent InTouch call at the beginning of June, ASEA Founder Tyler Norton gave a heartfelt provocation, referencing our company ethos and the culture that ASEA, its executives, and associates worldwide hold so dear. This uplifting message is one that each of us can learn from and apply to our daily interactions with others as we conduct our business. In a time of uncertainty, it’s important to remember that when we come together as a community, we are stronger together and that no one should be left out to weather life’s storm alone.
A World in Need of Healing
The seeming polarity of society today can be the cause of much heartache for many, especially if we allow our perception to be clouded by the false pretense of “the other.” While society may want to divide us into camps labeled “Us vs. Them,” it’s important to remember that no matter who we are or where we come from, our culture, background, religious beliefs, political beliefs, or our ethnicity should not prevent us from the bond of being one united human family.
ASEA’s mission statement is to better people’s lives and be a force for good in the world. As members of the ASEA family, we all have to start somewhere. Tyler suggests starting with seeing others as people and treating them like we would want to be treated. Drawing on principles from the Arbinger Institute, he reminds us that people can only respond to our hearts and how we truly feel about them; our genuine way of being.
Seeing and Treating Others As People
One of the ASEA company values is that of humanity. At the very core of humanity is the importance of seeing one another as people. We live at a time when dehumanization is an invitation at all levels, and it can become easy not to see one another as people. Situations can be as simple as hurrying through traffic and having someone get in your way, which oftentimes can degrade them in our minds to that of an object rather than allowing us to remember that they are a human being, with worries, hopes, and feelings that matter.
“We’ve tried our very best to strengthen and promote principles that help us see and treat other people as humans,” says Tyler “When we see others in their truest sense, and with our sincere hearts, we are true. When we see others falsely and forget their humanity, we are being false. We see that they matter as much as we matter. When we view them as our fellow brother or sister, we remember that their lives matter, their fears are real, their hopes are real, and their desires are real.”
Tyler says that when we are true to those around us, we are doing the great invisible work. While most of the work we do is tangible and visible, like building a company or a business, the most meaningful work we do is invisible, like the way you see and treat yourself and the way you see and treat others around you. There is a discovery in evaluating our own thinking and understanding how it may not be accurate when it comes to our perception of “the other.”
Do unto Others
In Tyler’s ethos training, he often references the African philosophy of Ubuntu, which places emphasis on “being self through others.” It is a form of humanism that can be expressed in the phrase, “I am because of who we all are” from the Zulu language. No one is an island. When one of us suffers, or when one particular group suffers, we all suffer. We understand that when someone else is hurt that we’re all hurt, and our connection and commitment to each other are such that we are one.
“We are going through an interesting time as a country, here in the United States, and frankly, around the world,” says Tyler, “I think we are so quick to dehumanize each other. It’s important to remember that our influence on one another in this world will be largely determined by how we see and treat others as people. We should be careful with how we treat others that are different from us, who may have a different opinion. We might be surprised to know that the law of the harvest is real. When we are planting certain seeds, we will reap what we sow.”
Turn Your Focus Outward
In each of our lives, we tend to be so preoccupied with our own struggles and stresses. Tyler believes that there is no clarity until our thoughts are concerned with others. Our vision can be blurred when we are self-concerned and when we forget that many people are scared and going through difficult personal struggles.
“I would challenge all of us to sit down quietly and give some thought to people that come to your heart and mind that are in need of a form of humanity,” he says. “They could be people on your business team, members of your family, or any number of people. I don’t think we should think of how to help others with a business motivation, and I think we should be reaching out to others with care and concern and interest in them personally. Everyone is going through their own set of challenges and difficulties in life. Awakening the empathy in your heart to show interest in others is at the very heart of the ethos of our company.”
At the core of the word ’empathy’ is the Greek’ pathy’ from the concept of ‘the path’ and the word ’em’ as a prefix of ‘in,’ meaning that when we empathize with someone, we are walking the path with them. Norton says that the ASEA business gives each of us the perfect opportunity to be aware of others throughout our day, slowing down our pace in order to turn our attention to those that might be in need.
“It’s a strange irony that when we turn our attention outward, something special happens inward,” says Tyler. “The etymology of community means a group of oneness, and our ASEA community should be a voice of love and concern for those around us, and it should be a voice of respect.”
The World Needs You
Tyler says that we live in a world where civility is in decline, but he states the importance of not taking counsel from fear. We should be inspiring hope and countering messages of fear with love. We are to inspire that in other people. We must have faith and confidence in the future and the world, remembering that goodness is everywhere. Let our ASEA voice be a voice of strength and hope for those around us.
“The world needs us and this mission and this ethos more than ever before,” says Tyler, “The world needs you and your unique outlook, talents, and love more than ever before. Do not take counsel from fear. This is not a time to shrink, but rather, it’s a time to expand. The world is starving for unity, increased civility, kindness, and humility during a difficult time. Greet this day with love in your heart.”