May 2014 ~ Spirituality in the Workplace at Tyson Foods
May 2014 – Spirituality in the Workplace at Tyson Foods
By Charlie Garcia, Chaplain, Tyson Foods, New Holland Plant http://www.tysonfoods.com for their company newsletter (used with permission).
Introduction: The office of Chaplain is presented with many challenges. For instance, how does one address the needs of such a spiritually diverse population? And what is the appropriate place for spirituality in a work environment as different and distinct as Tyson Foods, New Holland? I read an interesting article and obtained permission to quote some of its contents for this article and others in a series for our newsletter. This article will serve as an introduction.
I have been in contact with the author, Mrs. Barbara Taylor, and I am told that her article has gone around the world and has even been re-published in the United Nations Newsletter. Mrs. Taylor said in her article by the same title, "We define ‘Spirituality in the Workplace’ using Seven Principles: Creativity, Communication, Respect, Vision, Partnership, Energy and Flexibility." We will look at the first two next month and continue as a series. "All Seven Principles are related and all are important." We recognize that each person has their own beliefs. We respect each individual’s belief and their right to hold their beliefs sacred and private. Spirituality - as we define it, is a way of expressing your own humanity."
Whether you celebrate New Year’s Day on January 1st or January 31st as do the Chinese or March 31st as does the Hindu tradition or October 25th as in the Islamic Culture. Traditions are significant to you and to your family and your country! You may celebrate Passover on April 15th or Easter on April 20th. You might observe Christmas on December 25th or Dia de los Reyes on January 6th. You may observe Good Friday and Palm Sunday, while others observe Ramadan.
As Americans, we pride ourselves on our respect of the rights each person and never to the exclusion of another person. We seek tolerance for this or that minority whether or not we agree with that person or not. We may not agree with what a person believes; we have pledged our lives to uphold their right to believe it. I may not agree with what you say, however, I will defend your right to say it!
We have found in this "grand experiment" called the United States, that we cannot legislate what we consider righteousness. We can only lead by example.
We have fought as a country for those people who have been overrun by those seeking to remove from them, their freedoms. There is an importance placed on that person seeking asylum from the persecutions of their governments. So they come to this new land of freedom and opportunity, just as we have come in generations past seeking a new life and a new beginning for our families.
Our journeys and families may have started with those whose diverse languages were first spoken on this continent. And I think it is important to remember that English was not the first language spoken on this land.
The Louisiana Purchase would remind us that all that land was purchased from the French who laid claim to it. Much of the South West was at one time called New Spain.
There is a real danger that we would seek to exclude those who are foreign to our understanding. Can we become those persons would look with disdain at those whose languages and religions we do not understand?
Symbolically, at the feet of the Statue of Liberty lie the chains of oppression and tyranny. Have you ever considered the words of the Poem on the Statue of Liberty? I have included the entire poem at the bottom of the page for your consideration. The plaque reads, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."
There is an invitation for those people of the world to come and find a home here, just as our forefathers found a home here. Would it not be considered rude to invite someone to your home and then look upon their differences with animosity and disdain or to treat them in any other way than with the hospitality due to an invited guest?
Take a moment and greet a new Team Member. Many are desiring to learn English. What better way than by speaking to them?
Have there been abuses and have there been those who have violated our hospitality? Absolutely!
However, our own philosophies and religions have directed that we would be the "good Samaritan," and not grow weary in well doing.
Rather that we would teach these invited peoples to become productive members of this great new experiment, "testing whether this nation or any other nation so conceived in liberty can long endure." [from the Gettysburg Address]
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
[from the sonnet by poet Emma Lazarus written to raise funds for the statue’s base, and later engraved on that pedestal.]
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About our resource links: We do not endorse or agree with all the beliefs in these links. We do keep an open mind about different viewpoints and respect the ability of our readers to decide for themselves what is useful.
Page updated: October 16, 2023
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