Monday, July 17, 2017


When you're at the top, you see yourself and others through the lens of personal normalcy. I'm normal, but those down there ... they're not.

Toppers commonly minimize the privilege and favor they've enjoyed; they presume they've earned and fully deserve their comfortable lives.

Toppers in western culture are likely to look down on the less privileged as less diligent, less willing to work.

An objective analysis reveals that those at the top are not more intelligent or hardworking than normal folks. They are privileged, though, and tend to be ethically ambiguous. (ref)(ref)

Toppers rarely understand how little they have in common with 90% of humanity, the normal folks.

Normal folks in the world today live quite simply on perhaps $3000 per person/year or less. Many live on less.  Most don't have savings for college or for old age. Or air conditioning.  In the U.S., 20% of our own children live in poverty and most are trapped there, just like their parents and grandparents were.

Toppers live on perhaps $25,000 per year per person or more. Or much more. They have more than they need ... and they need not pray, "give us this day, bread."  There has always been that problem with wealth. It can cloud principles, warp reality, and obscure the pathway we perhaps should follow.

Wealth makes life easier in some regards and harder in others.  It doesn't, by itself, make us happy.  (link: a multi-factor Pew Research Center report on life and happiness)
Regarding modern thinking about wealth and its place in the definition of a good life, “The character at the heart of 20th century economics presents a pitiful portrait of humanity ... But human nature is far richer than this.”  Professor Kate Raworth is a Senior Visiting Research Associate and lecturer at Oxford University's Environmental Change Institute.
National GDP is a measure, but of what?  Is it of national integrity, of justice, of a healthy nation?  We might need to change our thinking and the way we live. It may sound corny, but we are all better off when everyone is better off.  Imagine what that might look like, where everyone had at least enough; a healthy diet, a safe neighborhood, a good education, and opportunity to grow.

Perhaps the most difficult question we face ... am I perhaps like that rich young ruler/politician who walked away sad ... ?

What's next?

Most Powerful Good
Helping Without Hurting
Breaking Gridlock