This blog is essentially about the many ways in which people create value in the world. This is quite a risky topic, because we can quite easily end up arguing (or be assumed to be arguing) that a person’s value to the world is merely the amount of money that they make, an idea that I definitely do not believe. So, how do I avoid this conclusion?
Firstly, I believe in the concept of value creation: lots of people do create value in the world through their work or through their lives. Value is difficult to measure, I acknowledge, but that just means we should strive harder to recognise where it is created, and indeed add value where the opportunity arises, I believe this approach adds meaning to our lives.
Because value added is difficult to measure, it is easy to fall into the trap of just considering money earned to be the same. Unfortunately, I feel this is an ultimately dangerous approach. It leads to devaluing a lot of work that goes on that adds huge value in the world, just because the market doesn’t adequately reward it. And it can lead us to valuing activities that add no value, just because they pay well.
And finally, I believe that every human has an intrinsic value or dignity in the world, beyond the value they create. I don’t think it is right to consider anyone as ‘worthless’, no matter how little value they create, indeed even if they are ultimately destroying value. Sure, I would like to see them creating value, for their own sake as well as the world’s, but I would do my best to value and respect them anyway.