Current Events, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovators perspectives on change

Even though change is a constant in our lives, it has never been easy to change. In fact, the more experience we have, the more difficult it is for us to change. Extend that difficulty to several generations or several centuries, and previously unacceptable activities become the norm of society(ies).

For over two hundred years, US history was written as the innovative cowboys overcoming the nomadic American Indians, partly with the help of diseases like measles and smallpox. Until the arrival of the internet, it has not been easy to highlight evidence such as Lord Amherst, for whom the city of Amherst, Massachusetts is named, was alleged to be among the first to engage in chemical warfare by intentionally distributing blankets from soldiers who died of these diseases to the American Indians. I was never educated that Andrew Jackson was a lifelong killer of American Indians.

Why is this relevant today? US citizens have accepted the norm that the cowboy stories are true, and the American Indians have been given opportunities to attend higher education but instead elected to pursue development of casinos. On a global scale, US citizens are often narcissists focused on ourselves instead of global events, partly because only 40% of US Citizens hold passports which are required for foreign travel. In other words, at least 60% of Americans have always lived within US borders.

Donald Trump is perpetuating the myth that the USA can still lead the world unilaterally through false hyperbole that focuses on self-aggrandizement. Trump believes what’s good for Trump is also good for his core supporters. Much like his declaration of Islamic extremists, there are many Christian extremists among Trump’s core supporters who are more likely to live in the US heartland where an even higher percentage of US Citizens have no experience outside the USA. He is also a narcissist whose life reflects values that he used to do whatever is necessary to succeed, independent of moral considerations.

Let’s change by becoming more knowledgeable about global events. In the last 50 years, it was China who lifted hundreds of millions of humans above severe poverty, following by far the most effective anti-poverty policies in a fast-growing economy. China is trying hard to change, as Hong Kong has the most stringent Intellectual Property laws in the world. Passing laws is insufficient to change, as the Chinese must overcome 200 years of foreigners not respecting Chinese laws when foreigners used gunboats to force opium trade into China, against Chinese laws. Why should we expect the Chinese to respect foreign laws when the Chinese laws were not respected for hundreds of years by foreigners? In other words, the Golden Rule did not apply. In order to change, let’s not forget The Golden Rule – do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

Introduction, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator perspectives on heaven and hell

The root cause of what we observe in the form of increasing violence can be associated with the message from both Muslims and Christians regarding heaven and hell.  It is far more important to focus on our moral living on earth then imagining what happens after we die.

Whether we start millions of years ago as hominids or hundreds of thousands of years ago as modern humans, the concept of heaven or hell is relatively new.  The four ancient civilizations five thousand years ago focused on elaborate burials.  The Chinese and the Indians both focused on living moral lives (Confucius was quoted as saying we don’t know enough about our living so don’t worry about what happens after we die.  Karma is an Indian concept of accumulating moral brownie points while living in order to be reincarnated into a “better” life until we reach perfection.)  Egyptians spent a lot of time dreaming about eternal life and was among the first to document their beliefs in “The Book of the Dead” but they focused more on mummification and elaborate burials.

Iranian prophet Zoroaster (generally believed to have lived between 3,000-4,000 years ago) introduced the concept of a soul walking across a bridge 3-4 days after death.  If a soul can cross this bridge, eternal heaven is waiting.  Eternal hell awaits a soul that falls off this bridge.  Abrahamic religions (Judaism, Christianity, and Islam) started out in a quiet Sheol during the equivalent of purgatory prior to judgment day.  It was probably too boring to have such an uneventful place called Sheol so Abrahamic religions became more and more descriptive of heaven and hell.

Today, Christians and Muslims preach paths to a glamourous heaven reserved only for believers or despicable hell for non-believers.  The most memorable line from the movie “The Vertical Limit” was the script that explicitly said all of humanity would go to hell under these conditions.  Not only would all Chinese and Indians be condemned to hell because they are neither Christians nor Muslims, all Christians are condemned to hell by Muslims, and all Muslims are condemned to hell by Christians.

The Moral Innovator motto is:  Thrive with knowledge of your places in the world.  Do the right things and make it better.  Please follow The Golden Rule and focus on your morally innovative behavior during your lifetimes.  You will get what you deserve when you die.  Heaven does not take reservations.

diversity, Introduction, Opportunity, Overview, Uncategorized

Moral Innovator proposal for changing the world – one child at a time

We are clearly seeing increasing violence both domestically within the USA and worldwide these days. While the call for peace and calm can help get these incidents out of the immediate news headlines, we need a sustainable morally innovative solution that can take several generations if adults elect to work together, or several centuries if we collectively focus on educating our children.

Today, about one third of humanity follows the Christian faith.  This trend started over 500 years ago when the corrupt Spanish Pope Alexander VI declared that Spain and Portugal owned the world outside Europe in the Tordesillas Treaty.  The first ones to contest this declaration were other European Christians who innovatively created the corrupt State-sponsored Dutch East India Company and the even more corrupt British East India Company to gather resources needed to industrialize the world.  We know, for example, it was the British government who gave monopoly power to the British East India Company that produced opium in India and sold the illicit drugs into China (and almost bankrupted the Chinese economy).  The immoral Japanese military also helped take over 70,000 tons of silver out of China through illegal distribution of opium.

Another 20% of humanity today follows the Muslim faith, and Islam is the world’s fastest growing faith.  Since the first OPEC price increase in 1973, our newly industrialized world developed an insatiable appetite for fossil fuel, and an average US$2 trillion dollars per year have been transferred to Muslims each year.  Each time we fill up our car with fuel, or turn on the air conditioner anywhere in the world, we contribute to the demand for fossil fuel and eventually maintain or sustain the status quo that transfers wealth to the Muslims.  Another impact is global climate change which is a by-product of our industrialization and exasperates the fact that we are 20,000 years into the 100,000 year Milankovitch cycle of global warming today.

On a global scale, our most severe conflict has been driven by the Christians’ and Muslims’ efforts to convert all humans.  Unless we create a way that allow humans to believe in both Christianity and Islam, there is no way humanity can have peace when two significant faiths strive to convert the entire humanity into one faith.  Within this framework, the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948 was like introducing a spark in a fuel tank.  While the role (and population) of Israel has been similar to Hong Kong for the British Protestant Christians during the opium war, USA has added plenty of oxygen to the spark in a fuel tank when President George W. Bush decided to invade Iraq that spread the conflict between Christians and Muslims like forest fires.

Now is not the time to double down on our faith without reason.  We need to let our children thrive with knowledge of their places in the world in order to make the right decisions and make the world better.  Let us not baptize our infant children nor declare heaven belongs exclusively to any one faith,  claimed by both Christians and Muslims.  There is an alternative sustainable path to peace.

What is that alternative path?  We start with a very difficult challenge to understand and morally develop the age-appropriate motivations of our children.  In order to invoke the motivation hierarchy introduced by Abraham Maslow last century in a measurable way, let us try to map humanity into Maslow’s hierarchical layers of needs measured by wealth of humans.  We know that money cannot buy happiness, so these numbers should be modified by non-financial parameters:

  1. Two billion (~30%) humans on earth living below poverty. The number one focus for these two billion humans is to secure food for survival.  This is Maslow’s physiological layer.
  2. Five billion (~70%) humans seek safety through employment, police/fire protection, access to health care, investments, among other things. This is Maslow’s safety layer.
  3. Twelve million (~0.1%) millionaires living on earth seek friendship and family, among other things. This is Maslow’s love/belonging layer.
  4. 2,000 billionaires seek respect, confidence and achievements, among other things. This is Maslow’s esteem layer.  Donald Trump wants the US Presidency to try to excel in this layer.
  5. Essentially no one is free of prejudice and take actions based on facts, possibly except the Gates Foundation supported by Warren Buffet. This is Maslow’s self-actualization layer.

These layers cut across all humanity (including Christians and Muslims) and exist everywhere on earth, including the USA, the largest economy on earth.  Trying to separate African Americans and Caucasian Americans will not work.  It is not a matter of “Black Lives Matter Too” versus “All Lives Matter.”  We need hope and opportunities that differ among humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.

No line can be drawn for humans living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy.  However, we can provide opportunities for our children living in different layers of Maslow’s hierarchy to seek their aspirations through education.  As long as our children learn the universally accepted Golden Rule (do unto others what you want others to do unto you) and believe there is hope to achieve their aspirations, we gain trust to respect our second amendment rights to bear arms, while reducing violence between police and citizens.  By adding moral innovations to the education curriculum, indiscriminate shootings in school will decline when our children and adults have the Golden Rule in mind.

Changes should be visible when we add the Moral Innovations framework into our education curriculum, including the Golden Rule.  Please encourage our children to do the right things as they thrive with knowledge of their places in the world.

Introduction, Overview

The essence of Moral Innovations

Moral Innovations leverage history to highlight how humanity has evolved on earth over time.  We can learn to recognize how Christians, Muslims, Indians and Chinese behaviors evolve and take actions that hopefully will make this world a better place.

No single person can change humanity overnight.  It took over 5,000 years to reach 7 billion humans on earth when terrorism and suicide bombers create tensions after a century of world wars that took the lives of millions of humans. Moral Innovators know this trend is unsustainable.  No law written by humans can be 100% effective.  No religion can be universally accepted.  Guns and advanced weaponry deliver short term advantages, sustain conflict and will not deliver harmony among humans over time.  We must respect the existence and rights of others who may have different values than we do.  Our common thread is morality, guided by the Golden Rule:  Do unto others what you want others to do unto you.

The Golden Rule does not feed us.  None of us could survive our childhood without some source(s) of food that usually come from our parents.  Some of us achieve sustainable livelihood earlier than others, but none of us can thrive without tools to generate income to support our lifestyles that usually require a good education, followed by the work that we do and/or innovations/improvements we deliver.  Education is not an entitlement, and unless we have rich inheritances, what we do with our education dictates the lifestyle we can afford.

Our lifespan is short, most likely less than 100 years.  We have only 30-40 years between completing our education and reaching retirement.  The objective of Moral Innovations is to educate humanity so we can optimize our productive years.  What you actually do is entirely up to you, but the circle of life guides us to educate our children for a better tomorrow.

Thrive with knowledge of your place in the world.  Do the right things and make it better.

Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Which of the four global communities do you belong?

Mar2015 Humanity Overview Chart

There is only one universally accepted Golden Rule in various forms: Do unto others what you want others to do unto you. If only all of us follow this moral rule, the world will be a better place. However, The Golden Rule does not feed us. We still have to make a living, support a family, and live in a changing world. We must work hard to innovate with our skills during our lifetime. If we can rely on the hope that our hard work can support our desired lifestyles, there would be less violence and hatred over time. When we can no longer hope our hard work can feed us or do not want to work hard, we begin to sacrifice The Golden Rule. Moral Innovations use history to remind us that we must manage our hope through adversity and work hard with The Golden Rule in mind.

Which global community do you belong? Because we use English to communicate, we are already confined by less than 1.5 billion people out of 7+ billion people who can read English, with less than 500 million native speakers in 54 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities. The chances are, you are a Christian in one of these 54 countries and 27 non-sovereign entities, dominated by USA with more than 50% of the English native speakers worldwide. If we can focus on a Moral Innovation framework in this community first, and respect the culture and rights of the non-English speakers, we are moving in the right direction.

Innovators World, Introduction, Overview

Barack Obama may be a Moral Innovator

On February 5th, 2015, Barack Obama attended a National Prayers Breakfast. Several articles have accused him of not being a Christian as a result. The reason? His speech includes historical references to amoral activities under the name of God, specifically the Crusades, Inquisitions, Jim Crow laws, etc. Faith can not be abused or distorted to promote violence.

Said the President at the breakfast: “We should assume humbly that we’re confused and don’t always know what we’re doing and we’re staggering and stumbling towards [God], and have some humility in that process.”

That is a breakthrough for Moral Innovators. We thrive with knowledge of our place in the world. We do the right things and make it better.

Be open minded to listen and learn, act with Golden Rule, and a Moral Innovator is born.

Introduction, Overview

Moral Innovators’ Reality

Moral Innovators balance innovation with integrity, but we live in a real world…

Our reality is that we must make a living, sometimes to support ourselves and our family which require a source of money recognized by society which includes, among other things, a job. If you are among the 1-2 billion humans living in poverty, you have limited choices on what is available to you, with lots of hardship to prevent you from leaving poverty. If you are among the 3-4 billion with some education, there is a better chance to create your dreams. The key is your skills and how the world around you values the skills that you have. There are three categories of skills: Manual (physical), intellectual (mental), and people skills. If you have manual skills, you could be a farmer, street cleaner, factory assembler, auto mechanic, plumber, doctor, soldier, etc. who can command comfortable lifestyles, especially if you have the respect and loyalty of your paying customers. If you have intellectual skills, you could be a scientist, designer (of games, fashions, art, etc), computer programmer, engineer, teacher, marketing strategist, financial controller, lawyers etc. with good chances of commanding comfortable lifestyles when your skills are recognized by others who need teams and groups to deliver value through scales of economy. This is partly because “companies” have processes to produce and/or distribute goods and services that require trained teams of individuals. If you have people skills, you have the ability to formulate communities of people that combine both manual and intellectual skills that ranges from human resources department of companies, psychologist, entrepreneurs, sales, artists, etc. that, together, deliver greater value than any one individual.

We all have various degrees of overlapping (manual, intellectual and people) skills, and we must have language(s), as a minimum, to communicate. In general, the scale for which our skills apply determines the options available to us in our community. What is not within our control is who our parents are.

If you have very wealthy parents, you have more options to pursue your skills. You may not need any skills if you elect to only spend your inheritance, but this is not sustainable unless you have others to re-invest your family inheritance to generate more wealth.

If you have very poor parents, you have very few options to pursue your skills, as you are more likely pressured into a lifetime of menial manual labor not valued by others. The most likely scenario with opportunities is education, if you can survive the period of time you must be educated. Even the best schools today like Princeton University lack socioeconomic diversity. The opportunities are few and far in between. The largest example of success over 4,000 years is the Jewish people who were slaves for hundreds of years to the Egyptians. By creating hope through their unity in religion, their Judaism has transformed their former slave masters into supporters in the forms of Christianity and Islam.

The super majority of us are in the third category where we have supportive parents. It is incumbent upon ourselves to be motivated through structures like the Maslow’s hierarchy (based on a theory proposed by a US psychologist Abraham Maslow (1908-1970)). The more wealth your parents possess, the more opportunities you have to pursue your dreams. The “innovator” part of being a moral innovator is the value you dreams deliver, including being a social entrepreneur. Looking through history, it is the community with large middle class members that sustain healthy economic growth. China had maintained the world’s largest middle class, mostly through family based, self-sustaining small to medium enterprises, that made China among the world’s largest economy for 1800 out of the last 2000 years. USA started the 20th century with anti-trust laws to discourage the super-rich, and had the world’s largest middle class between the years 1950-2000 when companies like Henry Ford’s Ford Motor Company had policies to pay a premium to workers who, in turn, became loyal employees and customers. While globalization has taken a large slice of the US middle class away in the last 40 years, there are still practices like Costco’s policy of not pricing products at more than 15% profit margin that sustains a healthy economic growth rate.

Your reality is what you make of it, within the spectrum of the opportunities available to you. Whatever motivates you, give yourselves sufficient time to create hope within a framework of balancing your values with integrity. Our world will be more harmonious if we remember The Golden Rule as we deliver our dreams to our community.

Our realities are not always fair. Revenge is not the answer, because people will get what they deserve over time, even if it takes multiple lifetimes. Focus on your skills and values through innovations. Don’t be blindsided by your emotions. Make sure The Golden Rule is followed. Preserve USA’s democracy, and don’t let the wealth gap destroy what had been a great society with the world’s largest middle class fueled by The American Dream. Creolize The American Dream with The Chinese Dream, and we can create a better world.