Living in comfort zones stagnates one’s capacity. One should think and continually expand his or her capacity.
We pursue the discussion of the prevailing worldview to understand how it works and influences our world. It creates the status of man by dividing people into groups on the basis of wealth. And wealth is the source of power. The wealth based criterion for social arrangement determines the status of man and allocates gains in society in relation to his status. The prevailing worldview evidences that you wield power over fellowman in proportion to wealth you own and power you command, hence the race for material riches. This explains why the practice of royalty, aristocracy and nobility continues to characterize the social fabric of humanity.
The top 1% of people today practically own most of the existing wealth and continue to own most of what is created year after year. They are labeled the winners. The 99% have no wealth or have some wealth. Those who own some wealth always live with the fear of losing it. They are labeled the losers. The winners resist the change that is needed to redistribute wealth and power in favour of the losers. Please understand that I am not suggesting robbing the rich and distributing the wealth to the poor. I only suggest creating a social arrangement where people do not compete for wealth for status but cooperate to employ wealth as means of living and allocate gains in proportion to effort. But the experts are busy broadcasting desirability of the status quo in order to protect and grow wealth of the winners.
The prevailing worldview depresses and manipulates the lives of most of the 99%. You live in a world where life is cheap. Day by day, more and more are unemployed or underemployed, dying of hunger and disease, becoming orphans, widowed or divorced, lacking education and without shelter. I assume that you are one of them but you are determined to defy the prevailing worldview. You should be aware of detours and diversions along the way to success that are likely to distract you. You should understand how life works for most people. They perform at or below average of their potential. They submit to authority of the parents, family, peers, community, academia, business, government or clergy without understanding the basis, justification and significance of authority. They habitually accept whatever they see, hear or read at face value assuming what seems to be as genuine. If they have jobs, they find it boring but are hesitant to train for jobs they like. They do not explore alternative career paths. They do not consider taking evening or online courses to improve communication skills. They do not go to seminars or conferences. They seldom travel to network and learn. In short, self-improvement is not in their dictionary.
If they are in college planning to join the workforce, they study because it is required, not because they want to learn. For example, they do not appreciate the challenge of learning new languages. India offers a variety of rich languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi, Tamil and Urdu. The Muslim students ought to learn Arabic, which is also the language of the Qur’an. Learning a foreign language creates employment opportunities in the global market. They opt for Hindi or Urdu medium, for example, and not English medium. How can you respond to challenges of globalization without working knowledge of English language? While some prefer to stagnate in a comfort zone, others live with fear and uncertainty as spectators on sidelines. They are not willing to take charge of life and expand the capacity to think and feel.
The prevailing worldview is equally responsible for the average or below average performance. It creates instruments, which promote mediocrity. The Western financial, industrial and engineering corporations have grown bigger and bigger after the Second World War. Engineering corporations enable industrial corporations to greatly expand productive capacity; financial corporations supply monies for mergers and acquisitions to systematically eliminate competition. Industrial corporations engage in assembly line mass production of consumer goods. They become conglomerates controlling markets for lucrative lines of products generating huge profits.
Offshore operations evade government regulation, avoid taxes and increase profits. The real challenge for big business corporations is no longer the capacity or finance but an ever growing market. Once they saturate domestic markets, corporations need foreign markets. They are ever ready to take finance and technology to developing countries. They are generally welcome wherever the political will is accommodating. This is how they become multinational or global corporations. Wherever they locate, they hire skilled or semi-skilled labour in host countries where wages are a fraction of what they are in the West. The labour laws, regulations for product safety and quality of products are not stringent by Western standards. The mass produced goods meet the standard of not bad or good enough. The standard of excellent no longer serves markets for the 99%; it is reserved exclusively for the 1%.
You are likely to run into some who belong to the top of the 99%. The rest of the 99% consider them winners because they live prosperous life. They are the knowledge experts. They are experts in science, law, engineering, information technology, marketing, mining, finance and management. They either consult with or are employed by global corporations. They are inclined to be unfavourably critical of any who resists the prevailing worldview. Obviously, they are critical of you if you reject the deceptive worldview. Beware their injurious attitude. Don’t be disheartened. Own great thoughts of the Qur’an and expand the capacity to think and feel. Read more in the next column about how the prevailing worldview influences the perceived winners.
(The author lives at Austin, Texas and can be reached at: [email protected])