Decades ago, when I studied business, we struggled with a radical concept that people’s desires, dreams, and needs were consistent across a broad universe. The idea that we prioritized needs in consistent ways was known and accepted, however up until that time people believed that someone in New York wanted a different types of dishwasher features than the person in Japan or India. A new theory emerged that consumers all around the world shared the same desires, needs, and wants and that the only variations were relatively cosmetic (example would be a different color).
Since that time we have seen the success of McDonalds outlets in virtually every country of the world, Nokia has a major lock on the mobile phone business, and toothpaste brands are fairly universal. People actually do share a common thirst!
Even with this evidence, a common belief continues that there are certain exceptions to this business premise. The two most common examples are in our respect for human relationships and our view of God. It appears important to many people that we promote the idea that historical ways of treating each other such as the role of women in certain cultures is somehow inherently more correct than external imposed values such as equality and fairness. This view also extends to cultural views of God. Again, it appears important that we acknowledge, respect, and promote historical religious traditions.
I would like to gently suggest that this belief ignores the business reality. The premise is based on need, an individual’s thirst. The fact is that people universally long for family and a sense of belonging. They passionately want to trust the relationships around them! They want to have a sense of purpose and knowing the Divine. The vehicle of tradition is what it is, and the thirst within each of us remains.
The answer is here for each. Hope, compassion, and mercy are universal needs that are only satisfied in our relationship with God.
“The Fear-of-God is a spring of living water so you won’t go off drinking from poisoned wells.” (Proverbs 14.27)