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.