You owe humanity making the most of what you were born with

Our role in life is not to complain and demand others do something for us. It's to make the most of our talents and wealth, multiplying however little - or much - we were born with.

Don't worry, this is not another rant about Sudhir ;) At least not directly. It was meant to be, actually, but I've decided to use the opportunity to highlight something more interesting. Of course I could rebuke his accusations, another echo of me allegedly being "divisive" just as he's supporting people who either secretly employ Malaysians, work out of Malaysia or were sucking up to the Malaysian strongman, Mahathir, during the worst bilateral crisis in years - but we all know that. It's bollocks and anybody with half a brain can see through this. If you're trying to defend Terry Xu chasing an 85-year old lady for a tabloid story we know what you're made of.

So, instead I'd like to share my observations about how the talents and wealth people are born with (or into) are often irresponsibly mishandled.

Whenever I see rich people feigning care for the poor or the "working class" a scene from "Good Will Hunting" flashes before my eyes.

I assume most of you have seen the movie but for those who haven't (SPOILER ALERT) - it's a story of a poor guy born with a great talent for mathematics, that he fails to take advantage of, clinging to the simple life of a manual laborer, struggling with lack of discipline and aggression, staying close to his childhood buddies, drinking beers, watching football together etc.

After several attempts at university life, when his talent was spotted, he's back to a physical job at a construction site with his best friend - who then gives him a verbal slap in the face.

Chuckie: Look, you're my best friend, so don't take this the wrong way. In 20 years, if you're still livin' here, comin' over to my house to watch the Patriots games, still workin' construction, I'll fuckin' kill you.

Will: What the fuck are you talkin' about?

Chuckie: Look, you got somethin' that none of us —

Will: Oh, come on! Why is it always this, I mean, "I fuckin' owe it to myself to do this or that?" What if I don't want to?

Chuckie: No. No, no, no. No, fuck you. You don't owe it to yourself. You owe it to me. 'Cause tomorrow I'm gonna wake up and I'll be 50. And I'll still be doing this shit. And that's all right, that's fine. I mean, you're sittin' on a winning lottery ticket and you're too much of a pussy to cash it in. And that's bullshit. `Cause I'd do anything to fuckin' have what you got. So would any of these fuckin' guys. It'd be an insult to us if you're still here in 20 years. Hanging around here is a fuckin' waste of your time.


He's born with a gift none of his friends has and it's an insult to them that he would squander it, instead of making something with his life. They would love to have his opportunities but they don't have the choice - he does. They don't need his sacrifice or pity.

It is a great illustration of the relationship between many among the elites and everybody else in the society.

But working people don't need millionaire saviors - nor do they need activists, journalists, bloggers, sociologists or gender studies' majors making a lot of noise how "somebody else" should do more for the "underprivileged". The poor and weak just need freedom to make something of themselves.

Life is a relay - everyone picks the baton up where his predecessors left.

If you're born poor you have to work your way up to give your children a better life - just like somebody else's parents or grandparents worked their way up in the past. You're not entitled to anything other than having the liberty to do so.

If you're born into a rich family, your role is to use the money wisely, for the benefit of yourself and the rest of humanity. Capital gives you unique options that very few others enjoy - how can you reject or waste it?

Nobody needs rich people pretending to be poor just so they can feel better about themselves - just like nobody needs drug addicts or partygoing alcoholics.

If you want to feel good then earn it by doing good, not just talking about it.

Whining about how someone else should is even worse. It is both pointless and hypocritical, considering the wealth you yourself could do a lot with, but refused.

You owe it to the rest of us, because we never had this opportunity even though we'd love to.

This is true for everything we are born with and into. If you have a talent in music - pursue it. If you're good in sports - strive to become a successful athlete. Whether you're into cooking, medicine, nuclear physics or masonry - humanity needs everyone to do their best and make a positive contribution.

99% of people don't have access to large pools of capital - just like most people won't be music stars, footballers, artists, doctors or scientists. But everybody can be good at something - and these contributions are essential to our progress as a species.

If your "privilege" (I hate the word but let's use it here) is in being born rich it is your responsibility to make the most of this wealth - not reject it and pretend you're just another ordinary guy. You're not.

Like each person, you have to run your part of the relay - take what you received and make something better out of it.

If you don't feel like an entrepreneur building companies and giving jobs - find entrepreneurs to invest in. Have a few kids that almost nobody would afford to raise these days. Or look for good causes or people who can make the most of the funds and support them.

The least productive choice is to reject this responsibility out of guilt or fear, finding comfort in trying to blend with the masses, while whining and grandstanding how someone else should be doing a better job - when you failed to even take one step forward from your highly advantageous position.

We didn't have that opportunity - you did and refused?

It's an insult to all of us - to the entire humanity.

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