MY penchant for examining the condition of mankind as a means of identifying his problems/constraints and devising mechanisms to overcome these has recently led me to consider what the ideal state of man should be. While not being an objective of economics, the subject covers ideas where man maximises his welfare/satisfaction, or achieves his full potential. Translated, this means that he accomplishes all that his abilities will allow him (it should be observed here that man’s abilities are very much influenced by his diet and lifestyle, since these impact his mental faculties). Textbook discussions seem to limit this simply to ensuring that man can, and is able to satisfy his material needs and wants. It is however proposed here that the ideal state of man should be referenced, where he overcomes the obstacles set before him by society to establish a successful household (failure here greatly increases the risk of failure of his children), achieves financial independence, and lastly, where he realises intellectual freedom, embracing the ideals/laws of life, and is unconstrained by preconceived ideas of society/culture which condition/enslave his mind to living his life in some predestined role. Ultimately, that he controls and decides his destiny.
Financial independence is often tied to educational achievement. Its achievement is however made exceptionally more difficult in the absence of reading and computational skills, since these are essential tools for self-learning which facilitate the acquisition of knowledge and the mathematics required acquiring a more financially rewarding job or starting and running a successful business. This is important because establishing a business is the surest path to becoming financially independent in the absence of a tertiary education. Significant here also is that initial failures in business ventures are a part of identifying the right business opportunity for each person. It is important not to be discouraged by initial failures. The perfect match will only be found with continued effort. Ensuring that the basics of quality, profitability and competitiveness are properly understood will be helpful.
Societies have for the most part seemed to have conditioned the majority of their members to becoming workers with the idea that they will be financially comfortable when they retire. In many developing and advanced economies, this has proven to be the greatest falsehood on record. The recommendation here is that today’s workers and young people condition themselves to establishing businesses between the ages of thirty-five to fifty to secure their financial future. Those without a tertiary education may need to do this sooner. This should be considered on a case-by-case basis because the establishment of a successful business as a second career hinges on learning how to manage a successful business and establishing the necessary contacts and potential customer base to guarantee a successful revenue stream with a new business.
Intellectual freedom, the breaking of the proverbial mental shackles of slavery, is significant, crucial, for the realisation of man’s full potential. This is because societies in general adopt preconceived ideas and conditions which inhibit and discourage its citizens from becoming financially independent.
These amount to discriminatory practices which become barriers to success, for many citizens. Great efforts have, and are being made in removing such practices from appraisal mechanisms, but as a quick reference, some preconceived notions and prejudices hinge on ethnicity, gender and religion. The inherent failure of some societies can be found nowhere else but in the oft recognised basis for governing societies, religion. Religion in some cases also promotes discrimination based on colour. This discussion is dedicated to them as well as others so affected. Achieving success without exacting a price on society necessitates absolute rejection of discriminatory practices, with the only criteria for consideration being the ability/capacity of individuals to execute considered roles. Members of society caught up in systems which engage in discriminatory practices, if already not doing so, should make efforts to remove such mechanisms from their organisations. Although it may be a bit more difficult to overcome ethnic discrimination because of the historical tit-for-tat between ethnic groups, this would seem only viable solution.
Victims of these practices should not allow themselves to be discouraged from becoming successful. Instead, they should adopt a solutions-oriented attitude to addressing their individual problems and constraints, making it a matter of practice, one of their essential principles in life, to overcome these. It is important not to be conditioned to the acceptance of some reason/cause for failure.
One last observation: young people should shun subcultures which promote unsavory, anti-social behaviors. Being the ‘baddest’ is a most unproductive social label. This is because when two ‘bad’ men meet, one usually winds up deceased while the other is incarcerated. Negotiation without recourse to physical interaction is a more productive mechanism for managing differences.