Muhammad Taha Khan on
49 The real perspective on wealth
What can you do with a lot of money?
People who are there (wealthy) tend to have a realistic grasp on
the benefits and the limitations. The rest of us tend to have
wild dreams, unrealistic expectations of what we could accomplish
with unlimited money.
In the knowledge industry where I am
working as a blogger, pitchmen appeal to my materialism: luxury,
travel, independence, security, complete freedom to come and go
as I please, money to accomplish all my goals. They assume that I
urgently need more money, or they artificially create a need for
Sometimes the blatant materialism is
disgusting. Other times the appeal tells me that with more money
I would accomplish more good in the world.
Article 21 (need to be needed) calls that the selfishness
button, another form of greed.
Earning money to do good
is oxymoronic and backward. Clarity and focus are result
oriented. Money is not a result!
Article 27 named people who used money for
the common good. I doubt that they entered school or business
specifically to become philanthropists. Instead, I submit that
they sought fulfillment applying their talent for meeting
Two of these, Andrew
Carnegie and Bill Gates, traveled the business path where their
talent first accumulated huge wealth. Later they progressed to
meeting people’s needs without obtaining income from doing so.
They had leadership capacity and awareness of important
needs to be met.
Jimmy Carter and Jane
Addams had strong leadership skills but did not go through the
same personal wealth phase. Having adequacy, they progressed
directly to meeting needs outside the profit structure. Managing
donations from others propelled their accomplishments far beyond
their personal fortunes. Jimmy Carter did not say, “I will make a
lot of money and then do some good in the world.” Instead, he
said, “Let us work together to remove guinea worm and river
blindness from the human population.” The path of clarity and
focus led to that result instead of a detour into a lucrative
article 48 used chess to illustrate clarity and focus. (The
cover picture is indeed checkmate if black has just blundered.
Otherwise, black queen captures white knight.) Ernstraud School enrichment there
added three weighty examples from science and industry to show
that without clarity and focus one is unproductively chasing
rainbows. It asked the question, “then what are we really
Article 27 listed physical and spiritual Humans’
Needs, particularly noting that money is
not on the list! Wise managers
understand that while money measures the flow of goods and
services, it is never the money that meets people’s
The threads weave
together to this conclusion: Be real. Go after the king, not the
TV news once broadcast a
journalist confronting a corporate executive with the fact that
he earned 200 times the salary of an entry-level employee in his
firm. That was cheap grandstanding, an uncomfortable moment in
which there could be no thoroughly reasoned discussion. This blog
undertakes the reasoning that was missing from that
I am always raising
questions without answers. There are no answers until human
discernment encompasses sufficient details to move forward
constructively. “Answers” are not terminations. They are
evolving, provisional understandings always subject to
verification and improvement.
Fundamental truth grants,
as a matter of human right, equal access to healthcare,
education, etc., as outlined in
Article 27, Humans’ Needs.
That is minimum fairness. People help each other make use of
opportunities without doling out equal doses of money or saying
the words “get a job.” My well-being requires the management
skill of others.
It takes the whole of
society to build the facilities and infrastructure that meet our
needs. No one individual can specify how all the parts fit
together; that picture emerges from thoughtful effort and mutual
respect. We need each other’s expertise. When the parts are all
working, no individual has reason to stockpile wealth.
Allocation of production and consumption balance at the micro and
macro levels without leaving deserts or stagnant
There is no room for
selfish bickering at the private level or gridlock at the
government level. In economics, “go after the king” refers to the
clarity and focus of sharing the greater good.
Being For Others Blog copyright © 2020 Kent Busse
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