Here’s what I think – it’s much easier to go with the crowd and share their values and belief systems. And it’s even more beneficial.
Let me explain what I mean. We live in a world that generally values things like individuality, competition, money, power, influence and so on. While there is nothing wrong with these values, ruthless competition and the obsessive desire to make more money can have terrible effects.
Maybe you value other things such as equality, honesty, fairness, kindness and so on. While these values probably make you a better person, you’re the loser in this world.
Imagine two people: Mark and Tom. Mark is the ruthless capitalist who wants to win. He has a successful company and does anything to maximize profits – underpay his workers, outsource production in poor countries where people are often exploited, does not care about sustainability and so on. But his company flourishes, so he’s a winner.
Tom is different. He wants to do good first, and make money second. He has a small business and tries to do the right thing, so he pays his workers good salaries, cares about their wellbeing, wants to produce his goods in a way that is more eco-friendly and so on. Everyone loves Tom, but his company struggles. He’s worried big companies like Mark’s will drive him out of business.
So in this case, Tom’s values are obviously superior. He does a lot of good, but he’s the “loser”. Because he cares too much and wants to do the right thing, not the *profitable* thing.
I realize that this case is very black-and-white and simplified. But isn’t this how it often goes? Doesn’t our society encourage or allow ruthless capitalists to increase their profits in any way possible – even when people suffer? Don’t we – as a society – look up to wealthy entrepreneurs and billionaires? Don’t we all wish we could be the next success story?
I honestly think our world is upside down when it comes to this. We value money, status and appearances more than honesty, responsibility and ethics.
That’s why I say that if your values are different from those of the world, you are at a disadvantage. Sadly, you’re the loser – even if you have better values and noble goals.
*Just to make this clear: I don’t think you are the loser, by the way. But our world often does. So we should acknowledge that.