Aeon Zoe Sky

As I was leaving a meeting today, I quipped to my client that “management is easy, except for the people”. He chuckled and replied, “Yep, people are always getting in the way of the numbers!”

There are plenty of challenges in organizational life. Many times it is the people ones that keep us awake. You can be enjoying a great season of peaceful production, and then “boom!” thunder rolls in.

We are complex creatures…and fragile at that. It is not surprising to me that we have emotional, physical, mental, spiritual or social meltdowns…it seems more a miracle that we don’t have them more often.

Yet, in the midst of this fragile condition, we are tasked with the responsibility of productivity. Productivity is never just about numbers…and always about people in the end. We don’t just produce so that we can have nice things. We live as an interdependent existence. The farmer produces wheat so that someone can eat bread. The oilfield worker produces fuel so that the farmer can grow food.

The ancient Greeks had multiple meanings for the word “life”. One was “aeon zoe”, which related to the simple existence, the breath of life. The other was “psyche”, which related to the temporal seasonality and circumstance of life.

We exist in aeon zoe. We manage our busy-ness in psyche. Aeon zoe is like the sky; psyche is the variation in the weather. Our purpose exists more deeply in the sky, and lived out in the midst of the storm. Until we understand the consistency of the sky, we will always be tossed about by the storm.

This perspective is important, in fact critical to maintain. When we lose this perspective people start to get in the way.