The New York Stock Exchange suffered a poor day on Wednesday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average sinking by more than 600 points. However, for a select few companies, stock values have gone through the roof. It was thanks, in large part, to a group of amateur stock traders with a vendetta against veteran corporate insider short-sellers betting on a company’s failure, with the video game store GameStop taking center stage. Before the drama was over, the company’s value had jumped by more than 1,700%, an investment firm had lost billions, and some small-time investors who gambled it all were able to afford some of life’s costlier necessities with their windfall.
At birth, all of us begin a journey that offers opportunities either to grow – not just physically, but mentally, emotionally and spiritually – or to stagnate. The journey we undertake lasts a lifetime, but there are dozens of moments each day when we have a choice to make tiny incremental gains in experience, wisdom and compassion or to calcify through inertia, complacency and selfishness. No one can be engaged and receptive all the time. But it is important to recognise these small opportunities for growth when they present themselves, even if at any particular moment we may decide to avoid grasping them.
I heard friends praising Bill Gates' philanthropy a while ago; it still surprises me how people respond to billionaires. The wealthy improve their image financing self-serving projects they present as “serving others” but few question their motives or suspect them of hidden agendas. Most take billionaires at face value and forget how they made their fortunes. Gates is a monopolist who crushed others in the process of building Microsoft. At least, J.D. Rockefeller (the first) made it a bit easier for us, he was blatant enough to call competition a “sin” and built Standard Oil monopoly trying to protect its privileges...