Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Compassionate Capitalism

Tonight I found myself mesmerized by PBS's documentary program The New Heroes.

This program tells the dramatic stories of 14 caring and innovative people who are "...alleviating poverty and illness, combating unemployment and violence, and bringing education, light, opportunity and freedom to poor and marginalized people around the world."

All the stories are inspiring. They may just drop you to your knees - first out of gratitude for all you have and then, secondly, to ask God to illuminate your intellect and heart so you can do as these people are doing.

Certainly after watching the program I feel like exciting things are possible and that I can do much more to make a positive difference and help people live their best lives.

Life is not a rehearsal. We are here to learn love and it is a required course.

Capitalism can be compassionate instead of the rapacious, self-centered and greedy practice it has become.

David Green, one of the people now practicing "social entrepreneurship," is convinced that western capitalism has failed to grasp opportunities in the developing world because of a focus on extracting the highest possible profit from every item sold.

He says chronic problems of poverty and suffering could be solved through "compassionate capitalism" which extracts a small amount of profit from each item sold, but generates a very high sales volume. In the process, it is possible to make available critical goods and services — like eye care — to billions of people.

When we die we take only the love we gave and received with us. God will not ask us about the size of our homes or our stock portfolios. God will ask each one of us how we gave and received love.

If we all start looking for new ways now, we can come up with some wonderful answers.


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