How Much Is Enough?
Peter Buffett, son of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, is an Emmy Award-winning composer, NY Times best-selling author and noted philanthropist. Currently, he is releasing socially-conscious music and touring his “Concert & Conversation” series in support of his bookLife Is What You Make It.
I keep coming back to the question, “how much is enough?”
you may think that’s a pretty ironic question coming from the son of one of the
richest people in the world. But actually, it might just make me an expert on
the subject. You see, my dad is the poster boy for the question. He has all the
money anyone could ever want and he doesn’t need another house, fancier food,
more people around him telling him he’s important, more stuff on his shelves or
the latest electronic gadget in his pocket. None of it would make him happier
than he is already–doing what he loves.
how much is enough? What are these
CEO’s and hedgefund guys spending their money on … or more importantly why? Who
needs that much money? Their need to line their pockets and hoard as much as
possible speaks to the larger question of personal responsibility, moral
bankruptcy and a need to fill a bottomless hole caused by … what?
American dream is mostly just that–a dream. Which doesn’t mean it’s not worth
believing in or working towards. But this country was built on domination and
exploitation–it’s no wonder it’s in the fabric of our banks, corporations and
government. It really couldn’t be any other way. You reap what you sow. You
can’t start a declaration of independence with the phrase “all men are created
equal” written by slaveholders and not expect a schizophrenic start to a
let’s take another comment from Thomas Jefferson:
am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and
institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that
becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new
truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of
circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We
might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy
as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their ancestors.”
one from Albert Einstein:
“You can never solve a problem on the level on
which it was created. You must learn to see the world anew.”
expects our laws and constitutions to change as man becomes more enlightened.
Are we there yet?
And Einstein reminds us that for this current
crises–or any problem–to be solved we have to see the world anew.
It’s time for real
change–difficult, messy, confusing, enthralling change.
Let’s look into the heart and soul of America. Accept that it was built on a shaky foundation and start very carefully
dismantling the broken pieces until we have families and communities that are
built on real trust; that can support business leaders and politicians that can
sit at the table, look us in the eye and say, “we are here because of you, so
we will honor your needs and protect what you hold most dear. Most
importantly, we will make sure future generations are left with a better
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