Salus populi suprema lex esto - The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law, in governance and in business – a righteous maxim, seldom followed. Those awaiting the perfect moment to turn righteous, need not wait any longer. Squirming to normalcy after reeling under the biggest catastrophe of modern era, pro bono publico is desideratum.
But, is pro bono constricted to large business houses or the ultra rich? When did the responsibility of uplifting fall on the shoulders of a chosen few? The pandemic hoc anno has befallen on the whole of humanity and it is the responsibility of the whole of humanity to get up, pick up and get moving forward. A random act of kindness from anyone to anyone makes a whole lot of difference to the world in this day and time when humans, at large, are scared and skeptical. The good news, however, is that it does not take a mammoth effort to make a difference.
People are preoccupied in rebuilding business and lives at this moment that pro bono seems a distant concern. But, helping others and being a part of community building should never be overlooked, as it creates a sense of belonging. Individuals partaking in pro bono find greater satisfaction and peace of mind.
Pro bono undertakings of businesses are needed now more than it ever was. But does it mean that businesses should offer services for free or give away products at throwaway prices. A business at the end of the day is just that, a business – an entity formed to make money and profit for survival. It obviously cannot dedicate a big percentage of its finances and resources to pro bono activities. But focusing on the right events can yield surprisingly huge benefits. One of the initiatives that has proven beneficial to both parties involved is cross networking with non competitors. Cross networking helps reach out to a wider audience, while at the same time it helps a local, smaller business find its lost footing. Sponsoring the education of a child or contributing an amount ex gratia towards home development are also pro bono activities stemming bona fide. Pro bono is a great opportunity to build a network and work with other professionals and community leaders, which can lead to collaborations down the line. It also offers fresh perspective pertaining to one’s skills and specifications. For businesses, pro bono is a good medium for publicity, and for individuals, it enhances skills and induces the feel good factor and a sense of accomplishment.
Pro bono services benefit all those who are involved in it, but in this hour of need, pro bono should not be reduced merely to the cliché of a marketing campaign, but rather, it should be undertaken in its literal sense – “professional work undertaken voluntarily and without payment”, only then will it be bona fide.
Veni vidi vici is one of the popular phrases in pop culture, but the way ahead for humanity is only through veni vidi amavi.