Thursday, May 13, 2010

Zenith Cleaners, 6 years after

This week made it 6 years since Ronke and I started Zenith Cleaners. It has been a rewarding adventure. We have had staff, clients and suppliers who have been with us almost since inception. People who believed in us when we were not even sure of ourselves. We are grateful to them because without them we would not have made it this far. I have to say Namaste, "I salute the God in you."

Some staff, clients and suppliers were with us but no longer. We are grateful to them because they contributed to what we are now. We are grateful to them because they help to drive home the reality that we are only with each other for a short while and that creates an urgency to make a difference with each other, while holding each other loosely. We realize that we may not become what we are not yet, if we have no freedom to leave where we have always been. Namaste to those who touched our lives and allowed us to touch theirs.

We have learnt many things doing this and this is an experience Ronke and I will not trade for anything else in the world. We came into this knowing that it was a 'lowly' occupation but we chose to be 'lowly' instead of 'exalted' and while we had a sense of it when we started, we realize in retrospect that there are many things you learn in lowliness that you cannot learn otherwise. We are grateful to all the people who gave us and continue to give us the opportunity to make mistakes, to learn and to attempt to love.

We have tried to show that we are not so much about cleaning and contracts and payments as we are about relating with people. For us, being environmentally friendly is only part of relating with people. We are grateful to the people who allowed us to enter into and to be in their lives through Zenith Cleaners.

One of the things we have learnt is that true greatness is at home with smallness and the true test of a person's greatness of heart is how they treat people who appear 'insignificant', people they can get away with mistreating. We appreciate our staff, clients and suppliers for exemplifying that.

Has Zenith Cleaners been successful? We have existed for 6 years so something is working, financially. However, we are neither inspired nor motivated by traditional definitions of success. For us, success has more to do with our contribution to people and that exists only in the heart. We believe J.F. Kennedy's statement: "After the dust of centuries has passed over our cities, we will be remembered not for our victories or defeats in battle or politics (or if I may add, business) but for our contribution to the human spirit."

Looking forward, we do not know what is in store. We know we will keep learning and we will keep loving even though we make mistakes in the process. We believe that the future holds boundless opportunities to make a difference and we will seize those opportunities, which our experience at Zenith Cleaners has prepared us for, thanks to all the people who allowed and allow us to be.