Why we say “Namaste”
What are our values?
As a company and as individuals we want to give our best to be the change we wish to see in the world. As our team is growing, we now come together more often and make it a priority to become explicit about our company culture, our values and the social responsibility we have as a company. We are not trying to be someone we are not and impose values on our employees who do not share them. More so we made the hiring criteria from the beginning very clear: we only want employees who are on a path of taking more care of the planet and themselves, who have an optimistic vision for the future of our planet and humanity. Our company values are a constant reminder for us to move in that direction and behave in a certain way. You will soon be able to read more about them.
"As a company and as individuals
we want to give our best to be the
change we wish to see in the world."
The values we chose as a company are the ones we aim to embody on all levels and in all areas as integer as we possibly can. We want to strengthen them and live by them. One value we act by is the Yogic practice Vichāra - critical thinking. It is one that is already imprinted in us. We always question how we do things and whether the action is aligned with our values, then take the decision and stand and take responsibility for what we decided.
Where do we communicate from?
The other day in our team of six we discussed what word we want to use in our general e-mail address. Info@ does not match our culture of being personal and informal, hello@ didn’t feel right either (yes, if it does not feel right, even if we have no data for it, we don’t do it), so the expression ‘Namaste’ arose. Immediately there was a very engaged discussion. Is it appropriate to use this word? Why do we want to use it? What does it mean for us?
Our concerns were mainly, whether it is culturally appropriate. Can we honour the culture enough as to be allowed to use it? Is it ok to use this sacred expression, a word from another culture, within an email address? Is it not already being overused, dishonoured, misspelled, and commercialised? Can we live by the word as an individual and as a company? Because if we use it, it’s a clear statement.
"Bowing is all there is"
On the website of Susanna Barkataki, amongst other things she is a yoga culture advocate, she explains that namas (i.e., namah) = reverence, adoration, salutation, bowing and te (short for tubhyam) = to you. In short this means, there is no I, so the individual or the ego is absent. Bowing is all there is.
Others describe the meaning as ‘The light in me honours/bows to the light in you.’ Either way, the meanings we read and have experienced in India ourselves resonate with us as humans and with our company values.
We want to live by its meaning
However, the decision wasn’t made after one meeting. Everyone took time to reflect, question, research and come back with their thoughts and feelings. Quickly we were aligned: yes, from now on we want to apply ‘namaste’ in our email address.
We want to honour the culture, be grateful for its teachings and how it adds tremendous value to the world.
We want to live by its meaning. It is our practice and our commitment for ourselves, to treat and see everyone as equal, to see the good in everyone, to bow to all beings, to this beautiful planet, our bodies (our health), our team, the planet, our partners and not least, our customers.
Being responsible in today's world
We are aware of commercialisation of the word "Namaste" and want to do our part by taking responsibility in how we as a company behave. We want to add our small part in being a company that acts and behaves in a way that honours and respects all beings including the planet.
"This expression helps us to be
and become the best version of ourselves,
as individuals and as a company."
We know we have a responsibility and if possible we want to inspire other companies and show that we as companies have a strong power in changing the way we do business. We are far from being perfect, yet we know that we are on a path of integrity and will be radically honest with ourselves when making decisions, whether they match our values or not. This expression helps us to be and become the best version of ourselves, as individuals and as a company.