CHAOS OR COMMUNITY
BY: THOMAS HUTCH, MAHC BOARD DIRECTOR
Where do we go from here? As a community, we must remember the guidelines of a “higher and better way—the way of shared prosperity” as we seek to improve the lives of all Americans. I believe that a combination of sound, political and business leadership is key to that achievement.
Fortunately, I think a new generation of business leaders is emerging around the world.
Business leaders who are proponents of corporate social responsibility, of social investing, of
Transformative philanthropy. Such leaders are emerging in every country, and every sector. They understand how a little bit of investment in our civic life, and in our community go a long
way, if implemented strategically.
In examining the topic “Economic prosperity versus Social Justice” — we might ask, are they compatible? While the discourse over the achievement of economic prosperity and social justice remains a debate, it should be about achieving both.
It is not either or, but both, and they are not necessary opposites of polarity, they are complementary. Two great camps have been engaged in a debate over the achievements of both for decades. The two main proponents are the economists and the moralists.
The economists say economic growth is a bit like sausage making. It may be a bit ugly in the process, but it produces satisfying results. The moralists suggest that perhaps it is the economists who are a bit naïve about human nature and human community. Because a society predicated on dramatic disparities between wealth and power is fundamentally unstable and unsustainable.
Why is this so, there are some pitfalls in the pursuit of economic growth, they include tensions such as conflict over land, labor and capital and the means of production, all factors which often result in asset inequality in our society.
Economists argue that these, however, are necessary to the engine of economic growth. On the other hand, moralists argue that achieving a just social order, while also like sausage making, is ultimately more profound and satisfying in its outcome. Moralists often ask, What good is a society, however prosperous, that falters on its moral and social responsibility.
In closing I charge political and business leaders to refer to Luke 12, verse 48, which reads, “Those to whom much is given, much will be expected.” let us nurture the creative tensions in our various societies to lead to a breakthrough, which includes a democracy inclusive
of all people. One way that I am giving back is through education and empowerment.
THE VALUE OF EDUCATION
Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the fact from the fiction. The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively, and to think critically. But education, which stops with efficiency, may prove to be the greatest menace to society. The most
dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but no morals.
We must remember that intelligence is not enough, intelligence plus character — that is the true goal of education. The complete education gives one not only the power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate.
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King