You and I face the difficult choice of trading meaning for money; we weigh the searing moments of real human accomplishment against the soul-sucking "work" of earning the next car payment by polishing up another meaningless PowerPoint deck packed with tactics to win games whose net result is the creation of little of real value for much of anyone who's not a sociopath. This is the deepest kind of theft; not merely prosperity having been looted from societies, but significance having been stolen from human lives.
Yet, the unforgiving truth is: the trade-off between meaning and money is as real — and as toxic, as characteristic of our post-prosperity present, and as strikingly intensifying — as climate change. And, like climate change, while you can argue that it's existed throughout history, to do so is a weak argument; so has, say, human trafficking.
In the simplest sense, the very point of a "capitalist" economy is to minimize the trade-off between meaning and money. So, for example, you and I don't have to spend a lifetime building, stone by stone, a Great Wall or a Pyramid — to satisfy the whim of an Emperor or a Pharaoh — and so burn through our one invaluable precious life. Every life has worth; and because it has worth, so it must seek, and discover, meaning.
So what can you do about it? There's only one good answer, and it's simple. Stop trading meaning for money. It's the worst trade you'll ever make.The Harvard Business Review | HBR Blog Network
Making the Choice Between Money and Meaning
Umair Haque | Director of Havas Media Labs and author of Betterness: Economics for Humans and The New Capitalist Manifesto: Building a Disruptively Better Business
(h/t Scott Fullwiler via Twitter)