These days there is so much about poverty, equality, development, progress that is all in some way or the other measured interms of money, income, wealth, assets and other such synonymous critera.
Lets for a moment assume that all the super rich and the rich were to give away as much as we wanted them to for the cause of poverty alleviation. This means each of us would approximately get USD 50,000 or INR 36 Lakhs (Going by what google says, the world wealth is around USD 360 trillion and world population is about 7 billion plus. So I did a simple division of the two)
With this much amount with each one of us, do you think each one of our problems would be solved? Why not? INR 36 Lakhs is a huge amount. With this one can decently manage a family, healthcare expenses and even leisure.
With this much amount in each ones hands, do you think the problems of the world can be solved? Here is where most of us would disagree. Money alone cant solve everything. We need minds and hearts too. Else the new found equality and once again translate into despairing inequality. More wealth in each ones hands alone cant make this world a just and humane place.
What the world truly needs is the distribution of eternal values. Values of truth, righteousness, love, non violence, acceptance, compassion, peace, integrity and courage. There is lack of it to a large extent. When such values are earned, shared and distributed as philanthrophy, one can hope for the world to be a better place to live in, with or without money.
Unfortunately there is so much talk and excessive focus of the M-Philanthrophy that falsely assumes that greater the M-Philanthrophy also means its someone with greater Values in life. We praise, worship and treat them as heroes.
We need acknowledge the greatness of men and women not based on how much M they share, but how much of V they possess, practice and share. Unfortunately, in the society at large, M is seen as the way to progress and overcome challenges. Its a foolish assumption that by giving more, one is accelerating the processes of change and making the world a better place. Certainly not.
Havent we know through countless stories of where even the poor through windfall gains have been a challenge to the harmony and well being of the society? I recall the idea and understanding expounded by Dr Balu, who has worked extensively for the tribals in Karnataka. He says that before one goes ahead and works to enhance monetary capital, one has to work on the human capital development.
In my view, working only on the enhancement of money is akin to focussing on the teaching of concepts only in education. Note that those who handle guns to kill and those who handle guns to participate in sports and games are both educated in the handling of the instrument. But its the value system of the individual that defines the way the instrument is put to use.
I am a survivor of a concentration camp. My eyes saw what no man should witness:
Gas chambers built by learned engineers.
Children poisoned by educated physicians.
Infants killed by trained nurses.
Women and babies shot and burned by high school and college graduates.
So, I am suspicious of education. My request is: help your students become human.
Your efforts must never produce learned monsters, skilled psychopaths, educated Eichmanns.
Reading, writing, arithmetic are important only if they serve to make our children more humane.
There is over-emphasis of M-Charity. We need to shift focus to V-Charity. M-Philanthrophy is one form of V-Philanthrophy. Sadly today, M-Philanthrophy is taking centre stage.
Lets remember that with Values well distributed, the world can be a beautiful place to live in, with or without money.