Behind the Scenes of Seabiscuit

September 09, 2011

“In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” – Matthew 7:12

Perhaps you have read the book, or seen the movie about the famous American racehorse, Seabiscuit. This story is certainly inspiring and also a fascinating glimpse at American social history during the 1930s. The horses were treated better than the jockeys! These jockeys were paid very little and given poor housing. Of particular note is that they didn’t have any kind of medical care, even though this is one of the most dangerous professions in the world. I thought to myself, “What a great example of what Scripture is talking about when it refers to unjust and unfair behavior towards those who God has entrusted to our authority.”

The words of Jesus could not be clearer. We are to be fair. But it doesn’t just mean adequate pay and benefits. The employer must treat employees fairly and that fairness extends much further than just pay and benefits. It also means not showing partiality. What does that mean? Well, look at it this way. If you’ve ever seen a situation where a parent shows favoritism to one child over another, you know how incredibly demoralizing it can be, not only to the child who isn’t the favorite, but to the entire home. There’s no sense of harmony and health. It works the same way in the workplace. Think of the demoralizing effect partiality has on the employees. It’s the perfect place for the Jesus’ golden rule to be applied…do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

If supervisors treated employees this way, and employees likewise with their supervisors, morale would soar, productivity would increase, and profits would rise. As a matter of fact, because the good owner of Seabiscuit actually treated his jockey this way, the success of Seabiscuit is an inspiring story to this day.