Today I attended a remembrance ceremony at our Gurdwara (Sikh place of worship). The event was being held by the former workers of the Ford factory which had long since gone. Families and friends came together to remember what this place had meant to the community and how it had helped the livelihood of the people in the area. Friends past were remembered. There was no factory anymore, no building or presence, all the workers had moved on, yet what this place had meant, still lived through the people present today. The members of the community shared stories of how they came together during difficult times, how they lived, laughed and cried together.
I was not born during the time period that was spoken of with such nostalgia, yet I longed to be part of what it was they had. It sounded wonderful, where people came together and cared for each other and looked after each other. As I sat there, thinking these thoughts, I looked around and realised I already was. As human beings, we have a need to belong together. There is something that binds us all and holds us together. This need supersedes colour, race or religion. We work together and live together. We have common needs and common thoughts. All it takes is for someone to take the initiative, and a community is born. This community is not limited to the generation that created it. Today, the next generation had carried on this link to the past.
Business is a fundamental member of the community. Ford may not be aware how hundreds of people gathered today to remember their time at this factory, but business must see the part it plays, for it knits families together to a common cause. Will our working lives today, be looked back upon with the same nostalgia?