In the beginning of his book, Truth and Transformation, Indian author Vishal Mangalwadi shares a story of an experience he had while visiting Holland. This experience was part of his journey of discovering how Kingdom principles, when put into action, change and transform a society. On a flight from Delhi to England, a few months before, a fellow Indian had a conversation with him about how business in England is easy because of trust. This conversation, along with his experience in Holland, would give him an understanding of how trust could transform a nation. Take a look at his story:
“One afternoon our host, Dr. Jan van Barneveld, said to me, ‘Come, let’s go get some milk.’ The two of us walked to the dairy farm through the beautiful Dutch countryside with gorgeous moss-covered trees. I had never seen such a diary! … The Dutch dairy surprised me because no one was there to milk the cows. I had never heard of machines milking cows and pumping the milk into a huge tank. We walked into the milk room, and no one was there to sell the milk. I expected Jan to ring a bell, but instead he just opened the tap, put his jug under it, and filled the jug. Then he reached up to a windowsill, took down a bowl full of cash, took out his wallet, put twenty guilders into the bowl, took some change, put the change in his pocket, put the bowl back, picked up his jug, and started walking. I was stunned.
‘Man,’ I said to him, ‘if you were an Indian, you would take the milk and the money.’ Jan laughed.
A few years ago I told this story in Indonesia, and an Egyptian gentleman laughed the loudest. As all eyes turned to him, he explained, ‘We are cleverer than Indians. We would take the milk, the money, and the cows.’
Who would pay for the inspectors? Me, the taxpayer!
Back in Holland, in that moment of laughter I understood what Mr. Singh had been trying to explain to me on the plane to London. If I walked away with the milk and the money, the dairy wonder would have to hire a salesgirl. Who would pay for her? Me, the consumer!
However, if the consumer are dishonest, why should the supplier be hones? He would add water to the mild to increase the volume. Being an activist, I would protest that the milk was adulterated; the government must appoint milk inspectors. But who would pay for the inspectors? Me, the taxpayer!
Who would pay for the bribes? Initially the supplier, but eventually the consumer.
If the consumer and the suppliers are dishonest, why would the inspectors be honest? They would extract bribes from the supplier. If they didn’t get the bribes, the would use one law or another to make sure that the sale is delayed enough to make the non-refrigerated milk curdle. Who would pay for the bribes? Initially the supplier, but eventually the consumer.
My visit to the dairy farm helped me understand why a small country such as the Netherlands is able to donate money to a much larger nation such as India. It also helped me get why my fellow passenger, a semi-literate businessman, was explaining to me. He could say what economic experts avoid discussing: that moral integrity is a huge factor behind the unique socioeconomic/sociopolitical success of the West.”
Vishal Mangalwadi’s book, Truth and Transformation, is a must read. If you want to have a deeper insight into how society was created to thrive upon the principles and truths of God, check it out!
Mangalwadi, Vishal. “Morality.” Truth and Transformation: A Manifesto for Ailing Nations. Seattle, WA: YWAM Pub., 2009. 25-28. Print.