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Rebecca Lynn

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What is my obligation to society and the world?

I am a person that was born in good health, to a great family, a relatively high IQ, and with financial means and connections. I have struggled my entire life with feeling that have not done my part to contribute to the solving the problems of the world. Is there a TED scholar in this community that can help me come up with a realistic goal that would allow me to feel satisfied with my contribution to the world? I would love it if someone could come up with a talk relating to this subject.


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    Sep 19 2013: I would say that indeed,in the way society its built,you do not have any obligations at all towards helping others.However,in my opinion,i would say that one feels alot better when,in a position to do so,helps others.No matter how small that help could be.

    For example,i am not a wealthy man,financially,but sometimes,like many other people,i dream about being a financially wealthy person.And when i dream about it the first thing that always come to mind is to find ways of helping other people.
    One idea i once had was that i would buy a considerable amount of land and build a big farm near a small town and being able to feed the poor people of the place.
    I'm not saying you should do that,i am only saying what i sometimes think about.
    In the end,i think you should follow your heart and find a creative way to help others using the gifts nature gave you,and do so in a way that pleases you and not because you think you have an obligation.Only you know the constitution of your morals.
    Peace :)
    • Sep 20 2013: Hey Vitor, about what you said about a farm to help out the local community, I think you might enjoy this:


      It's an 80 minute documentary showing how to engineer a forest that's specifically designed to produce the maximum amount of food for the least amount of effort. And they do it with 1000m^2 which isn't stupidly big of an area either. Guess you can even use the idea as a social project... planting can be quite a good form of 'meditation' as it were, and you could help those in need in 2 ways with one stroke! If you ahve the time... I'm looking into it so that I may someday do the same...
    • Sep 27 2013: Your proposal of using land near a town for farming would simply not work, even though the principle is sound and worthy. Development land near towns is eagerly sought by speculators who wish to hold onto it until the tax payers investment (through the local government) has improved the infrastructures and caused the land to become more useful, and the greater competition for its access to resul in its raised prices and access costs and rents.

      In fact speculation in land values is the antithesis of progress because it stops the opportunities for poorer people and entrepreneurs from managing to find/provide work nearer to the towns. This immoral speculation in what is surely Man's right to natural resources, has done so much harm in the past and has provided the banks with so much cause for unfair income, that the economy has even become unstable with 18 year cycle price bubbles in land values, and their bursting leaves even the bank at a loss! (Its too big a subject to properly discuss here.)

      By taxing land values instead of incomes, speculation in land values would cease to be worthwhile, competition for unused development land would be milder and more land would be properly used. This means that the scurge of the opportunity for fair and easy access to land and work opportunity would be a thing of the past.

      So Bruno and Vitor, what you could do to help is to throw your effort (and financial support) into the Georgist movement for Land Value Taxation, http://www.progress.org

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