Last week I introduced the concept of when good looks bad… or WGLB. It’s a philosophy we didn’t set out to follow, but one that seems to follow us in all of our endeavors and adventures. Whether in business, familial, or social dealings—our honesty, determination, and refusal to “wait and see…” simply makes us look bad even as we pursue great good.

As a continuation to the WGLB series, let’s dive into one of the most obvious ways good can look so bad: Being unapologetic capitalists.

Capitalism might be the biggest WGLB out there today. By definition, capitalism is both a social and political system whereby people—instead of the state- privately own and operate trade and industry. Capitalism is economic freedom that gives people the power to earn, invest, sell, and buy for themselves. While the idea seems good enough, the results often give rise to questions of economical inequalities and unfair legal loopholes for the rich. Most of us have experienced the truth of that accusation in our daily lives- if not on the daily news with the ubiquitous talk of the “one percenters.”

Still, the bad that happens doesn’t take away the good of capitalism. Inherent in capitalism are the ideas of economic freedom, voluntary buying and selling, private property rights, motivation to make money, and competition. We like freedom and privacy and winning! No one thinks a football game shouldn’t have a winner because the losers didn’t have the same financial backing as the winners.

We embrace competition. We also like owning our own homes and enjoying the freedom to buy whatever we want from stocked shelves filled by profit-motivated companies.

The recent shutdowns certainly have reminded of us at least a few of the advantages of a freely, flowing, and competitive market.

Yet for those of us motivated to do big things with our lives- we must admit- financial stability and investment are needed to do just about any great good.

I am not economist; as a counselor, I study people. In my view, it’s not capitalism – but people- who color the world greedy at times and forget their way. In fact, some people’s selfishness harms other people to extraordinary means, which I’ll discuss in later articles.

Yet for those of us motivated to do big things with our lives- we must admit- financial stability and investment are needed to do just about any great good. We need money to adopt, fight injustice, and create and imagine innovative products, systems, medicines, machines, IT, and ideas that make the world a better place. That’s why Garry and I are no longer shy about telling it straight: we want to make money (in order to do good).

An orphanage we visited in Mumbai

An orphanage we visited in Mumbai

And what better foundation than capitalism- where you can make and buy anything, live anywhere, and pursue any story you choose—full of motivation, risk, and reward. Where every day, you get to start over if you want. That’s right; there’s much grace built into capitalism. Every day is a new chance to create, build, earn, and grow—or recover, if that is where you’re at. Through the years, Garry and I have experienced all these realities in our lives, and we embrace them—even WGLB.

With our financial success, we’ve chosen to wear clothes from Target, drive a Ford truck, and eat lots of rice (well, actually that’s just because we have a lot of children from Asia). In the end, we choose to spend our success on the stuff that matters: to adopt children and raise them to be givers, fight child trafficking and feed and educate the poor, and counsel and empower others to do the same.

We translate capitalism into social justice.

Oh, and we love the game of making as much money as we can in order to tackle some extraordinary problems. In this pursuit, we’ve built businesses, traveled the world, and collected an amazing group of friends, colleagues, and children along the way. Come explore with us as we endeavor to GMDG.

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