Is optimism all we need

No one becomes wealthy by being a pessimist. I am a born optimist. I like adventures, exploring boundaries and taking calculated risks. Recent events, however, made me less optimistic about the future of the world. Patriotism, separatist, whatever-phobia, extremists. All kinds of phenomenons are emerging. No matter how badly the educated, the wealthy or so-called liberals want to change he current situation, the world is not going their way.

Essentially two intersecting trends are shaping this – the growing inequality in societies and the development of robotics. People, especially the ones who were left behind by society, are angry. They want to channel that anger towards whichever scapegoats they could find – people who look/behave different than them, Muslims, Mexicans, gays etc. The other side wasn’t much better. Young women who spend more time and money on clothes and bags than helping the poor, who frequently shout for equality. Politicians who pocket big corporations money and promise voters they are “with the poor”. Worse yet, the environment we live in, is in no shape for us to figure out a coordinated climate strategy. Our planet is in deep distress.

Maybe because I work in responsible investing, I read lots of articles everyday on why we need to address climate change, inequality, education, and all the issues we are facing. And to say it bluntly, we have not done enough. The super wealthy of the world has not done enough. If one day the earth’s environment got destroyed, extreme weather causes people to fled their lands, bad education system cultivate ignorant citizens, and an unfair social structure causes the middle class and the poor to start riots, do you think you can spend the money you got? Maybe. But your children and grandchildren will suffer. They won’t grow up feeling safe, they won’t grow up with blue skies and clean water, or they might die in riots and natural disasters. What’s money worth when the earth and our societies are destroyed?

Sometimes I really want to tell the people with extreme wealth and plan to pass the majority of the wealth onto their children. Wake up! If you don’t do something, it is going to be too late! If the structure of the society flip, if the middle class disappear and we end up with the majority of the world poor, resource constrained and desperate, you won’t be able to hang on to what you have for long.

We need to act now. Conserve resources, advance energy efficiency, support the next generation, promote STEM education among the young, give to communities. I haven’t done enough of it. But when I have a bit more mobility, I will restart. This is one of my goals for next year. Now think of it, this year just flew by. I couldn’t blink and it is already at the end. This is another good year for me. Married, became CFA, moved to a bigger apartment. This is a good start. I can’t wait to see what future holds. I have new wishes for next year, and I will go on to make them happen. Go go time!

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