A healthy workplace is a productive workplace, like a beehive abuzz with the sound of people assigning unto themselves those tasks that come naturally, that nature assigns to other creatures, through instinct and intelligence.
The symbol of this productivity is both a salve and a sweetener, and a seasonal phenomenon and a seasoning, too, whose benefits range from the medicinal to the munificence of a people; the Māori families of New Zealand, who live in the foothills of Mount Ruapehu, where they hand-harvest Mānuka honey once a year.
Mānuka honey symbolizes so many things, from the properties it contains to the property from which its contents originate.
Be it the beauty of the North Island of New Zealand with its flora and fauna, and its National Parks and protected regions, or the color and texture of Mānuka honey itself. Be it the way this brand of honey looks or the way it releases viscous droplets of bronze and gold, of liquid with a molten hue, this much is true: Mānuka honey is special, distinctive, and good.
Bear in mind, also, that honey is the result of a natural process. The process is anode to the honey bee.
The process is in the operation, which is to say everything a honey bee does—from gathering the nectar of specific flowers to regurgitating the nectar, to depositing the regurgitated nectar into a honeycomb, to converting sucrose into fructose and glucose—is a marvel to behold.
That Māori families contribute to this activity, that they are indispensable to the artisanal processing of Mānuka honey, represents a true union between man and nature.
This union deserves our attention, as the potential health benefits of Mānuka honey are several and significant. For example: Mānuka honey is rich in methylglyoxal, a powerful antibacterial agent, making it more potent than other types of honey.
Studies also suggest that Mānuka honey helps to heal diabetic foot ulcers, and may be effective against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which is responsible for several difficult-to-treat and often times life-threatening infections.
According to Andrew Beijeman, CEO of Awhi, makers of Awhi Single Harvest Mānuka honey:
“At Awhi, we believe in respecting and nurturing the land, the animals, the trees, and the waterways, and if we do this, nature will reciprocate and nurture us—providing food, medicine and a healthy environment to live in. The land gives us a one-of-a-kind product in Mānuka honey: a hand-harvested,once-a-year, high-quality reward from a delicate ecosystem.”
Regarding the land, as it relates to all lands and peoples, regardless of names and places, regardless, too, of lines on a map or politics on the ground, this much is true: Each of us has a duty to preserve or improve the land.
Each of us has a duty to treat the land as more than an opportunity to break groundon the construction of office space or the expansion of parking spaces. Because the more greenery we consume, the more unhealthy the planet becomes; the sickerthe planet will be, without the top soil plants and trees need to grow, farmers need to harvest, and the food we need to survive.
Our duty, then, is to assure the survival and the success of an actual land of milkand (Mānuka) honey.
The duty is a corporate one, too, because we need companies to do all they can to promote health and wellness.
We need companies to lead, as they have done and continue to do amidst a pandemic, because there can be no corporate wellness without corporations. Nor can there be safe workplaces without healthy workers.
Consider this moment a global call to action.
Consider, also, the purity of a type of honey as a reason for companies to maintain the purity of the environment as a whole.
By acknowledging these truths, companies accept—they choose to accept—their roleas icons of health and models of responsibility.
The choice to act need not appear in any contract or corporate charter, because some things are obvious but unwritten. These things include morals, conscience, honor, loyalty, duty, and integrity. These things constitute the essence ofcivil society.
For these things to endure, companies should emulate the example of the Māori people.
Companies should emulate the traditions of those people, in both hemispheres, where preservation is a priority and environmentalism is a high principle.
We should applaud companies that lead, so all companies, foreign and domestic, may act as leaders in their own right.
By exercising their might, by making a show of their moral strength, companies can do right—they can right their respective parts of the world.
So, yes, each of us has a part to play and a person to inspire.
Whether the part is large or small, whether the company is global or local, whether the person is known or unknown does not matter. Whether we act, that alone mattersmost to the cause of health and wellness.
Let us, therefore, resolve to act with discipline and humility.
Let us set a precedent for excellence, raising the possibilities of what we can dotogether; raising the probability that we will bequeath a better world to posterity.
Let us get to work, for the sake of all workers, so we may savor the taste of honey and rejoice in the sweetness of a new chapter in the life of mankind.
Let us reach this goal, where the land is bright.