There seem to be but three ways for a nation to acquire wealth. The first is by war, …..plundering…conquered neighbours. This is robbery. The second by commerce, this is generally cheating. The third by agriculture, the only honest way, wherein man receives a real increase of the seed thrown into the ground, in a kind of continual miracle, wrought by the hand of God in his favour, as a reward for his innocent life and his virtuous industry. — Benjamin Franklin
We live in a grand delusion. A feeding frenzy predicated on a gradually increasing and all engulfing desire. A circle that begins with desire, moves to consumption, then satisfaction and ultimately to a new desire. If this cycle extends to infinity, the future looks bleak unless we sow the seeds of living for a higher purpose — a life devoted to the servitude and emancipation of other human beings. It is a lofty ideal because it is almost impossible to live for others. Also, it is easier to write words on a piece of paper and then not have the deeds follow where the trail of words left off.
But, if we live by instinct alone, we are no different than lesser organisms. Think about a farmer who sows the seeds in the fertile soil and labors to give life to a grain. He doesn’t know whose stomach the grain is intended to fill but he does know that another human being will live better because he has toiled.
In this age of technology and industrialization, we seem to have forgotten the humble farmer. This article reiterates the importance of sowing seeds of altruism when the human mind is most fertile to new ideas i.e. in childhood. Also, if we exploit the fields too much, there is a risk that they will be barren forever. In other words, if we direct all our energies to the pursuit of money and material well being, we leave our souls barren.
Finance is not a zero sum game. It can be inclusive and not speculative. When we look at advances in financial technology, the end goal should be servitude…