Take Back Your Life!

Can one person help humanity?

October 13, 2011 by Giulietta Nardone

I got an idea a few weeks ago for the US to create companies where folks are paid to embrace their strengths. Whatever it is that makes them feel alive, that’s their job mission. It’s what I refer to as your Fearless Why.

We subsidize farmers, pharmaceutical companies, oil companies and others. Why not subsidize people’s strengths? Why not take our soul crushing economic model of forcing folks into pre-existing job categories and change it up?

Yes, I know what the skeptics will say. It won’t make a profit.

How do we know that? What if paying folks to do what makes them come alive produced ideas and products and inventions that folks actually wanted. What if work became something uplifting? Wouldn’t that life the world up with it?

Take Steve Jobs. He was really an inventor but folks didn’t see him that way. They saw him as a computer guy. He needed to keep inventing new things.

Now, let’s take Buckminster Fuller. I knew about him only as the inventor who patented the geodesic dome. Recently, I started reading his biography, Buckminster Fuller’s Universe. In 1927, depressed and suicidal he stood before Lake Michigan and contemplated hurling himself in.

An idea stopped him.

What if he decided to think differently? What if he decided to embark on a experiment to see how one person could help humanity?

Despite being broke, he conducted his experiment to work without profit as his driving force. It lead him to create all sorts of inventions and theories. He also refused to be narrowly categorized instead describing his output as “an emerging synthesis of artist, inventor, mechanic, objective economist and evolutionary strategist.”

The experiment lasted 56 years during which he referred to himself as Guinea Pig B and the planet as Spaceship Earth. He chronicled his daily life, ideas and philosophies in a diary he called Dymaxion Chronofile. He remained a sought after speaker well into his 80′s.

Perhaps, we might start thinking in terms of human profit rather than monetary profit.

Here’s my question to you. What might your contribution to humanity be? I’m trying to reconnect folks with their creativity and strengths. I feel that once we do that, the world will lift itself up.

Thanks! G.

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12 Responses to “Can one person help humanity?”

  1. Michael says:

    Human profit – check. I like that. Work without profit – check. It’s working for me so far. At the very least, I have the no profit part down. I hope to have to work harder at the no-profit thing soon, finding creative ways to give away rather than hoard, but all things considered, I like this idea of following a strength and not considering the work or success in monetary terms. It’s more fulfilling than any paycheck job Ive had.
    Michael recently posted..we don’t need no stinking plans…

    • Hi Michael,

      Bucky is smiling down at you. Keep going with your strength. We need it!

      I am convinced this model(aka way of life) would produce great ideas. Bucky was yet another college drop-out. He came from a long line of Harvard University grads. He preferred to party with the ladies. To punish him they sent him to Quebec to do manual labor – but he loved it.

      So, all this nose to the academic grindstone advice may be nothing but a fool’s errand.

      The mind needs space and conversation and deep thought and nature and encouragement and multi-subject input and stimulation.

      I keep shouting, “Stop, you’re headed toward a cliff …”

      Appreciate your comment as always, G.

  2. Penelope J. says:

    Love the idea of human profit rather than monetary profit. If only this could be inculcated in our beings, in our kids, from early education on instead of the reverse. Unfortunately, our human genes since cavemen times and throughout history are geared to personal and material gain: grabbing food, land, property, money, slaves, etc. rather than on finding ways to help humanity. Many of this country’s population are descendants of poor immigrants who came here seeking a better life and this has morphed into seeking more ways to make money, often at the expense of others, rather than helping your fellow men.

    Interesting about Buckminster Fuller. He came from an elitist, well-off background and was able to see how he could make a difference. I fear that not many can follow this path given the pressure in this country to rise above the pack, make something of yourself e.g. make money, and become someone. Everywhere you look, you see this attitude and only an exceptional few rise above it.
    Penelope J. recently posted..Never Give Up on Your Dream

    • Hi Penelope,

      There has to be a way to change our mindset so we equate becoming someone not with how much money you make – which seems odd when you think about it – to how much you improve humanity. Then we’d see it change.

      It does have to start young and right now our schools promote getting ahead of your classmates. Even teamwork is seen as cheating.

      Think the grabiness must have to do with a scarcity mentality. If we can change that, maybe we can change the grabiness.

      Reminds me of the potlatch. Will try and write about that soon.

      Many thanks for your generous comment. j.

  3. This post reminds me of Marcus Buckingham’s book, “Now, Discover Your Strengths.” I saw him on Oprah a while back and he insisted these women stop trying to make a job they don’t like work. “There is nothing wrong with you. Your job is not matched to your strengths. Go find one that is!”
    Angie Mizzell recently posted..Comment on Sometimes that means you need the ice cream by J.D. Meier

    • Hi Angie,

      I agree with Mr. Buckingham (which is awfully close to Buckminister) to go for the strengths and there is nothing wrong with you.

      Young people get pushed into doing things they do not care about because that’s where the money “supposedly” is. Yet, the money can go anywhere if we change our mindset.

      Thank you for your weekly comments! G.

      g.

  4. The only reason that all those in charge aren’t supportive of subsidizing people’s strengths is their lack of faith. Years of evolution and industrialization has conformed people’s expectation of success through the normal modes of production. But I bet you that there is a market for any passion from any individual out there. Only those who are willing and dare to go after their own missions will succeed. But it is funny how people refuse to take the leap of faith. Our history is littered with those who had and who had found success. You mentioned Steve Jobs and Fuller. Look a little more, I am sure you will notice that all great and successful people also took their passion forward and took the leap of faith.

    Thanks for your post Giulietta. BTW may I invite you over to my site and be inspired by Marc Linden’s story. His interview with me is up now.

    Cheers
    Jimmy/Life Architect recently posted..What has Marc van der Linded got to Say about Blogging for Personal Development?

    • Hi Jimmy, will visit your site!

      I like what you are saying about those in “charge” having a lack of faith in folks. That’s a unique and fascinating way of looking at it. It rings true to me.

      The normal modes of production need to be altered to allow strengths to be included. Brilliant! And also who is in charge.

      Maybe that’s why we try to clonify everyone? Because of this lack of faith in others and in ourselves. And it never ends.

      Many thanks! G.

  5. Hi Giuletta,

    I love the story of Buckminster Fuller. He changed his life by changing his idea about life. That’s what counts.

    Most self made millionaires became rich after being poor and making a decision to change their lives.

    After all, it is not money that make the difference. Money is just a catalyst of what you already are. If you are happy, money make you more happy. If you are unhappy, money will you even more unhappy.

    The difference we can make in our life is – just like Buckminster – decide to think differently and make the choice to be happy and do what we want to do in life.

    If everybody would make that choice, how much humanity would be helped by that?

    Thanks for the inspiration!
    marc van der linden recently posted..The 8 gratitude questions – the seven evenings challenge (Day 7) – the inspiration

    • Hey Marc,

      Thank you for stopping by! I love meeting new commenters and visiting their sites. I’m about to make a Bucky-like pledge myself. Have been doing it in a more casual way. But am convinced we can all help humanity, too! You are so right that it’s not about the money. For some reason, that’s what gets passed down through the generations as the great motivator. G.

  6. Belinda says:

    I think we really could ease up on the me-me-me mentality and need to do a lot more inlcusive thinking. I also think that one person can help humanity, although it’s much better if we all work together. This whole Occupy movement that has gone global in a matter of weeks gives me hope (that our humanity will save us) because it’s collaborative, it runs on cooperation, it’s non-violent and it has no leader (which means anybody has a chance to be a leader).

    • Hi Belinda,

      I’m investigating democracy and the biggest threat to it will never be some country or terrorist group out there, it will be us turning on each other.

      We spend all these billions and billions on fighting a small group of terrorists, meanwhile our infrastructure – physical and democratic – falls apart.

      I’m thankful that folks are exercising their freedoms to assemble and to speak. We were starting to lose these freedoms.

      Thanks for the comment, G.

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