Tag Archives: steward

Being a good steward

Stewards look after their stakeholders.

Steward your resources and those of others well, avoid waste.

Steward your resources and those of others well, avoid waste.

In my business I am steward, in that I protect, guide and feed that business by managing all its resources in an efficient way.  Good stewardship is the difference between the success or failure of a business, which includes the efficient management of limited resources of time, energy and money.

I find that other people are reckless with the resources of others, they fail to recognise that time, energy and money of others is finite, to be respected.  How annoying to me in recent days when an internet project I contributed my writing talents to fell apart because the stewards fought amongst themselves.  Then there was that individual who invited me to their home over the weekend costing me two hours for something I could have answered in less than ten minutes on the phone.  Or the individual I worked with over dozens of meetings and a website last year which came to nothing.  Those were resources lost to my business I am unable to recover.

The onus of being a good steward of your time, energy and money is down to you, since others can turn parasitic on you if given the chance.  If you expect others to be respectful of your precious resources then you must be respectful of them.  As a blogger I keep my posts fast, simple and easy, because I know that your time is precious.  It is an honour to me you read Liberated Way, I keep my impact on your life to a minimum, and hopefully you benefit in a positive way from my posts.  This is the same for all my customers in my business, I try to keep the impact upon their lives at a minimum with efficient business systems.  Business customers and blog readers are stakeholders, the steward has a responsibility to delight them with positive benefits without being a burden to them.

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Being a good steward to animals and plants

Humanity being good stewards of plants and animals is vital to their survival.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

Stewardship of plants and animals for prosperity rather than exploitation for profit.

The Australian Aborigines are animists who believe all things have spirit which recycle between the “Dreamtime” and the material world through a process of reincarnation.  The Aborigine believes that whereas many spirits become plant or animal that the spirit that becomes human has the special role of guardian over the plants and animals where it is born.

Many religions also have beliefs where a creator being has placed humanity in a role of steward over all plants and animals on behalf of that being.  The scientist increasingly are becoming aware that every plant and animal plays a part in the health of an ecosystem, each interdependent upon the other, a chain that if it were to break would be sickening to the ecosystem as a whole.  It is obvious that humanity is dependent for life on healthy ecosystems.

Yesterday I signed a petition against the mistreatment of cows in Europe who suffer in confined spaces and are in poor condition.  Milk cows are treated as milk machines for profit.  The farmers forgot cows are sentient beings that suffer.

On the same day the UK government announced they would be massacring thousands of badgers this summer in an unscientific and expensive operation to protect dairy cattle from TB.  All the decision maker sees is an animal that is hitting their profit margin and their answer is to kill that animal.  The same UK government decided to support the continued use of pesticides in Britain that is linked to the destruction of bee populations, since this method is more profitable to use.

The newspapers reported a family of fox cubs shot to death by game keepers in a nature reserve because the land owner wished to protect his stock of pheasants and partridges ready for the shooting season by his fee paying customers.  The fox was seen as a financial liability to profit, and its life exterminated accordingly.

The rising prosperity of the nations of Asia including China has seen a boom in status symbols made of ivory.  One report on WordPress yesterday was of an abundant 40,000 elephant population in one nation collapse with 10,000 killed by poachers for their ivory.  Now entire elephant herds are systematically massacred in one day by machine gun to harvest the ivory to sell on for profit.

One can note a trend in this modern-day paradigm that profit is supreme, and all animals, plants as well as fellow human beings are commodities to be exploited for maximum profit. A cow, badger, bee, fox or elephant has as much meaning as a can of coke, to be used and thrown.  Nobody cares about the suffering or the meaningless waste of life of animals as longs as profit is made.

I am treated with contempt, with no respect in consumer society for believing that animals and plants should be treated with dignity, kindness and in a sustainable way.  Exploitation for profit is the rule of the game, I am treated as deluded and stupid for thinking otherwise.

Damn them! I say each one of us are stewards with responsibility for the animals and plants in our community.  In any ecosystem be it forest, lake or garden every plant and animal can be considered a stakeholder since they benefit from, and participate in that ecosystem, thus should they have a say in that ecosystem on an equal basis as humanity? Often we let outsiders with no stake in the environmental assets in our own backyard to come in to exploit and destroy those ecosystems we should be stewards in.  It is time to rethink our role in this world as stewards rather than as irresponsible consumers since sustainability through good stewardship can be the difference between our living or dying as a species.

The role of the steward in sustainability

Stewards delight the stakeholders.

Delighted bees produce lots of honey.

Delighted bees produce lots of honey.

In a business the customer and the employee are stakeholders.  These stakeholders derive a benefit from the business, participate in the business and have a say in the business.  The stakeholder operates out of self interest and participates in a small way in the business.

Above the stakeholder is the steward.  The steward is responsible for the whole business, they operate for the good of the business rather than out of self interest.  The steward is like a loving parent in that they will protect, feed and guide the business so that all the stakeholders benefit from a healthy happy and abundant business.

In the relationship between bees and the beekeeper it may be considered that the bees are the stakeholders and the beekeeper is the steward.  If a beehive has happy healthy bees the beehive will be abundant with honey.  The beekeeper as steward is focussed upon the needs of the bees so they remain healthy, happy and abundant.

The beekeeper has three roles as steward: protection, guide and feeder.  In protection the beekeeper protects the beehive from disease, weather, humans, vermin and poison.  As a guide the beekeeper may intervene in the activities of the beehive to assist the bees, for instance if there is problems in the egg laying of the queen bee.  As feeder the beekeeper provides access to resources of food and water for the bees.

The focus of the beekeeper as steward is on the well being of the bees in their care.  The steward as beekeeper will know their bees, see from their point of view, act in ways to delight rather than harm their bees.  The focus is bees first steward second.  Bran the Blessed amongst the Celtic peoples said: “let them who be chief be a bridge to their people”. The steward is a bridge to their bees. The bees see the steward as friend rather than enemy, one of them.

One may say of a beehive that it is an energy system, for which the steward seeks to be healthy, happy and abundant; that the beehive has processes which the steward assists for the best possible benefit to the beehive; and the stakeholders the bees who participate in the processes which the steward seeks to delight.

Delight is a wonderful word.  Delighted bees make lots of honey.  Delighted readers follow blogs.  Delighted customers pay lots of money.  Gardens that delight birds, butterflies and bees become an animal paradise.  Delight is part of a creative process, and the steward delights in all they do.