The TED site has started posting the best TED-esque content from elsewhere on the web. My favourite so far is this one from Matt Weinstein. In it he describes a money lesson he learned in Antarctica.
I find the way he handled this really amazing. I guess, to keep it all in perspective, he has been successful enough in his life that a bankruptcy won’t destroy him really. And there is a huge difference between this relative financial devastation and the real horrors being faced now by the people of Haiti. Still there’s an important lesson in this about having the right perspective toward money. For Mr Weinstein money didn’t give him security. He could only really know he was going to be okay in life if he had a community around him.
An Economist I heard lecture in London once told me that capitalist (fiscally right-wing) ideas are based on a certain understanding of success, whereas socialist ideologies are based on an understanding of failure. It seems depressing to say it, but as rich as you might be, failure is an ever-present possibility. The only real security is investing in our communities, giving our time, our money and sharing our lives (i.e. sharing our meaning, our stories).
All that is not given is lost.
P.S. I’m sure all of you have already donated to Haiti relief. (Likely the biggest humanitarian crisis in the past 50 years). But if you haven’t gotten around to it yet, or you’d like to give some more, I’ve found a great established charity in the country, called Partners in Health.