How can we make the lives of people better?
The synthesis of my ideas today has stemmed from a couple of sources. First is a book I am studying. Second is an article about jobs and wages from the Wall Street Journal yesterday, 2017-11-04.
Over the past several weeks I have been listening to the book The Better Angels of Our Nature by Steven Pinker a Harvard professor. it was published in 2011
His thesis is the world is becoming less violent. Before reading this book and as he points out most of us feel like the world is becoming worse off as time goes along. He has lots and lots of research to back up his theories, eight hundred and twenty-three pages of smaller print worth.
Of course, he asks the question; “Why are people becoming less violent?” He talks about a civilizing process the societies of the world have been going through over the past several centuries. He talks about how violence in the developed world has become less and less acceptable. He infers that through the spread of information and as people become more educated people become more sympathetic of one another.
While violence is declining I believe we have aways to go to be more empathetic and sympathetic to people. Capitalism is still about exploitation of people that are weaker and more ignorant than yourselves.
As I read the story about Jobs and wages in the WSJ it pointed out that the unemployment rate is the lowest it has been in years however wages are not increasing. Companies complain that they cannot find workers. However, it’s more about they are not willing to pay what I am going to call an “Honorable Wage.” There are endless stories of people being laid off because the company needs to show more profit. I had a friend who wrote a song about 20 years ago one of the lyrics said “People love money more than people” I believe this is why people are not happy. I have felt it many times. Businesses care more about money than they care about me. Banks and institutions like banks are the worst.
I believe if people cared more about people and their well being than they cared about profit things would get better. Sometime in the future, more people are going to realize happiness comes from our interactions with other people, not money, not fame and not sex.
My quest has now changed into how can we get people to care more about people than they care about these other things. How can we get people to realize the best way to happiness is helping others. My hope is that people will care about how people feel like they care about violence, hunger, animal cruelty, and other social causes. I am talking about the stress fast food workers feel when they are underpaid and under-appreciated by the clients that are paying and begging for these people to make their food. I am talking about the call center employees that are tied to their computers and have to listen to irate customers because their company produces an inferior product. I am sure there are other types of jobs like these that are high stress, maybe dangerous where the people feel trapped with no way to get out; Construction Workers, other laborers, commissioned salespeople, and maybe even teachers. I believe a certain amount of stress can help motivate people, I enjoy the stress I feel as I attempt to solve a problem and the joy I feel from overcoming that problem. There have been times in my career where the situation seemed hopeless when I could not deliver what was expected, not even close to what was expected; I know how to work hard, smart, and long hours. In these situations, I realize I did not have the skills these companies needed. I either quit, once I was fired, and several times I was laid off because the company couldn’t offer a service to customers that was profitable enough to stay in business. Many times I was forced into situations that required me to change. I know some of those people are still in the situations where I was kicked out. I know many still helpless, hopeless and dejected.
I want to find a way for people to feel hope.