Life can and is a struggle, but overcoming adversity – especially over time – can lead us to rewards that just wouldn’t be there if we didn’t earn them.
A world full of stable, robust, prosperous democracies will be a world of permanent peace. Globalization can help us in many ways, most readily in prosperity. Free, fair trade is also very important. Free enterprise is an additional worthwhile and vital component.
Literacy, financial literacy, reading, formal education, and learning by doing are all necessary to grow in this century forward.
Knowledge skills and people skills will be crucial to maneuver the modern age.
We must develop self-discipline and practice delayed gratification in order to cultivate our mind, body and “little piece of God.”
Wisdom can and should be taught – at all ages. We must look deep inside for the goodness that is surely there.
There are the negative values that Copthorne MacDonald enumerated – selfishness, greed, envy, hate and revenge. These values must be shunned.
Of course, there is a matter of degree in these values. Take greed. I believe it is entirely proper to pursue wealth; look at Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. They, at least eventually, stood back and used their wealth for worthy purposes.
Another aspect of greed that is critical is whether a person is consumed with greed so that he or she does illegal, unethical or immoral acts to pursue that value. I look at Putin in Russia. His is partially motivated by greed, and even more by power. Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Putin’s corruption is out of hand. But I will give Putin credit as an unlikely hero in keeping a foolish President Obama from getting us into a war in Syria.
I read a wonderful book, The Case for Democracy. It was written by a Russian Jew who immigrated to Israel and at one time was a Cabinet member. The crux of the book is that all humans desire liberty and freedom – regardless of the history of their nation – China, Russia, the Middle East – you name it. The author defined democracy as being completely free to go into the town square and proclaiming whatever you will without reprisals to you or your family. They don’t have that freedom in Russia, or in a lot of other places. I pray that everyone on earth will one day experience true freedom, and I believe that day will come.