Realise your potential? Let’s work on your values first

I have heard people tell me recently that the biggest problem in the world is that people are not motivated enough and thus will not realise their potential. I think this is a badly thought out idea.

The biggest problems in the world come from values. War is started by people (men) who value money and power. Religious fundamentalism and all the violence and repression it causes stems from valuing one’s own soul over the lives of others. Arrogance and pride, not trying to understand or respect one another: all are results of valuing oneself above everyone else. And are you going to tell me these people, the war mongerers, the religious and ideological fanatics, the people who always think they are right, are not living their potential? They are doing everything they can to do what they think is right.
And then we have motivation. You say people need more motivation? I say half the motivated people cause the problems that the other half try to clean up. What of the CEOs and shareholders running corporations that pollute bodies of water and landmasses to render them useless for human or animal consumption? What of the politicians that order a dam to be built that will uproot thousands of people from their homes without compensation? What about those people who swindled you or your grandfather on a stock deal and took all your money? What about people who know they are infected with AIDS but go around having sex anyway? What about the people recruiting child soldiers to guard diamond mines? What about the child pornographers, neo nazis, serial killers, rapists, drug barons and warlords? Take a look: these are the motivated people of the world. Never mind realising your potential. Valuing peace, freedom, respect and understanding are far more important.

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