Originally Posted by Dien Rice
I've been reading through some of Harvey Brody's old courses, and I thought I'd "riff" a little on a part of what he wrote, that most people don't talk about...
It's Harvey's "Better World Plan"...
which also boils down to motivation...
To go in a little different direction...
You can ask, what do you want? But also... what do you want for your family? Sometimes, working for the betterment of your family (wife/husband, kids if any, even brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, parents, etc.) can be more motivational... When you have the intention, not only to better your own situation, but to better their situation too...
I don't have any kids of my own - but I do care a lot about my wife, my brothers, and my nephews and niece... And I think, making sure they have a good life too is also my responsibility. (And I find it motivational!)
Then, expanding a little further... the "Better World Plan". This is the plan to leave the world a better place than you found it, to the maximum extent possible. This usually requires money...
How you want to improve the world is up to you. I've focused on donating to homeless charities in the past (because I think being homeless would be extremely rough)! And I like to remember the phrase, "there but for the grace of God go I"...
But it doesn't matter which way is your preferred way. Wanting to leave a better world behind, to the maximum extent possible, can also be very motivational...
I just thought I'd add these recent goings on in my mind to your excellent post...
That part was always special to me, love the Better World, safe harbor stuff.
Are Harvey's grandchildren inheriting a better world than the one he came into?
Maybe THEY are, because of his success and the opportunities it has provided them. It is great to be born into a family where hard work and dedication has provided a good life for the "kids".
Can we leave a better world behind?
Well, my raff is this:
Last year I had my 50th class reunion. The high school class of 1968. We came of age about the time Kennedy was killed. We saw the civil rights riots, Vietnam, man on the moon, Berlin Wall, Cold War.
Most of our parents had jobs, at least Dad did, although many of our mothers worked too.
The black smoked filled skies of Akron, OH have disappeared, along with the thousands of jobs provided by the rubber companies. Our county population has shrunk, the income level, the standard of living, the number of unemployed, the addicts, the homeless. Well, different than what we had as kids.
I do have children. I worry about their future. MY generation, the boomers are leaving a mess behind us. We had Vietnam, they have Afghanistan, Iran, hot spots all over the world and more nuclear destructive capacity than we ever dreamed of as we hid under our school desks during the drills.
WE, the Boomers, were the first "entitled" generation. Our parents fought in WWII, survived the Great Depression, Hitler, Communisim, and civil disobedience.
WE, were either hippies, or straight laced or something else. WE as a generation filled the colleges up, became the most educated generation in history. We were the pig in the python.
And that Python has left a steaming pile of excrement on our Grandchildren's door step, set ablaze as we escape into oblivion. Have we left them a better world?
In 1968 we believed we were on THE EVE OF DESTRUCTION, as outlined in Barry McGuire's anthem:
AS much as I may have thought we were on that eve in 1968, I have to admit my children are much closer to it.
Every time one of my kids goes to a concert, or shopping, I worry. We may have been assaulted by scantily dressed butt cracks in Walmart, but now they wear full body armor and have military grade killing weapons. Whereas my sensibilities may have been assaulted at the Walmart, today, the assault takes on a life and death proposal. And for many years, Walmart has sold guns, bullets, ammo of all kinds. All perfectly legal. Old Sam is turning in his grave. 0
WE have polluted the oceans to beyond repair, changed the weather with dramatic results, and instead of being the generation of change, the ones who were REALLY going to make the world a better place to live..,
Well, like Barry sings: "take a look around boy."
As an individual, we all should want to leave the world better, and the idea that making more money, is one way to contribute...
As a 15 plus year social worker, in the trenches, working in group homes for barely minimum wage, for being paid next to nothing for actually going onto the streets to help homeless veterans, to give in THAT WAY.
Truthfully, it is irritating. We have BILLIONS, nay, TRILLIONS of dollars since 1968 funded by the wealthy, the well off, those that focused on making theirs, and untold number of foundations, and not for profits with their CEO's earning a quarter of a million dollars a year...while someone like me,
A guy who worked one to one, was "in the field", on the front lines of social work, who actually did the work which would make things better for people, and barely scraped by financially...I find that tune (of wealthy contribution) to be a little off-key.
Now all of this "negative skepticism" doesn't keep me from a positive attitude and hope for my children. I taught them to find things they love to do, to help people in need, and that giving of one's time is every bit as important as giving money.
Giving money is the easiest thing in the world to do.* But when you take a hard look at how so much wealth was "earned", and at the cost to the masses of workers...well, it gives one a slightly different perspective.
I am starting to think, not about leaving the world a better place, but whether or not we'll be leaving a world at all.
But I do like the safe harbor, and thinking that if I make it there, THEN, I can do the world some good.
* Big pharm, who gave us opioids and made billions, have given a few million here and there.