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Dien Rice
August 9, 2019, 10:46 PM
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.
Hi Gordon,

Of course, what you say has a lot of merit...

There are a lot of things here to "unpack!"

The saying, "leave the world a better place than you found it"... Those are Harvey's words...

I actually use a slightly modified version, which is

"leave the world a better place than it would have been if you had never lived."

So, the meaning there is a little different...

The world could be going to hell in a handbasket, but it still might be a better place than it would have been if you had never lived.

The reality is we live among - what is it, 8 billion people now? I can't control what the other 7.999 billion people will do. I can only control what I can do...

Now, when it comes to money, money can be a multiplier. So you can have more power and influence with money.

Money can be used for good, or it can be used for evil.

So, if we now add something Harvey does add - he adds:

"...leave the world a better place (than it would have been if you had never lived) ... to the maximum extent possible."

The idea is one person can do a lot of good... but, by (for example) hiring 100 people to do the same thing...

Johnny Appleseed can go around the USA planting apple trees, so people would have food to eat. But if he had employed 100 people to do the same thing as well...

anyway, that's the gist of it.

The last thing I think was the actual means of earning the money - it has to be by doing good too. That's something I strongly believe in...

So, yeah, you can make money being a hit man. Or a shoplifter. Or a pimp. But, I don't believe any of those things are doing good in the world...

Or by raising the price of insulin so it's multiple times higher than anywhere else in the world, and people die, but you get a few more dollars in your bank account. (For example.)

Not good.

But, on the other hand... You can make money educating people (as we do here on Sowpub), or by creating a tool that probably over a million people or more find useful (like Harvey has done), or even by building fences, fixing people's plumbing, helping them get well if they're sick, and so on...

So, I think it all needs to be in harmony... How you make the money, as well as what you do with it...

For me, this essentially boils down to motivation. It may sound strange, but I'm not really motivated by money... It just doesn't excite me in itself. Or even material things.

My Dad was an economist, and he never bought a new car in his life. The only time in his life he had a new car was when he married my Mom, because his Dad (my grandfather) gave him a new car as a wedding gift. (In contrast, I heard that my grandfather, who was a farmer, would buy a new car every few years...)

However, my Dad - being an economist - always said that cars greatly depreciate. For example, you might buy a new car today, in 2 years time, it might be worth half as much! You just lost half the value of your car...

But, if you buy a second-hand car, the depreciation is not as much as a new car... So you save money buying second hand cars instead - both on what you spend initially, and on "depreciation" (which is how much the car goes down in value every year).

As I said - he was an economist...

Anyway, the point... I believe there was one...

Oh yeah, motivation. I'm not really motivated by money... (Sacrilege!)

BUT... I am motivated by trying to do good for my loved ones. And in trying to make the world a better place - or, at least trying to make it a better place than it would have been if I had never lived...

I think, so far, my contribution is net positive! (That's my feeling, anyway...)

Best wishes,


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