When I heard the news that Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook announced he would give away 99% of his Facebook shares to good causes, I was overjoyed.
It was not just a nice news to me. I saw that this was a tipping point of happiness.
Well, I was already feeling it was my lucky day as I walked into our office this morning here in Singapore. Somehow, along my usual route to work, everyone seemed very kind, generous and caring. From the elderly lady who waved me into the back kitchen of her Muslim food stall (we normally walk pass this shop and smile at her) and offered to make special chilli sauce for me to try, to the senior Chinese man on the train offering me a handrail to hold on to as I was having difficulty balancing on the moving train… There were definitely many more smiles this morning.
Those smiles uplifted my spirit and I was ready to get into my work when my colleague let me know about Mark Zuckerberg and his pledge. I thought, “Wow, this is it. The world gets it now.”
In the recent years, we’ve grown up in the world where we were taught to get more things: money, fame, status, possessions, success… We started believe that money could buy happiness (some say we can).
In the process, what we created was a world of profit-driven economies. Where corporate (and personal) decisions are made to purely maximise revenue and minimize costs – at all cost – for our very own financial gain. Even many political decisions have been made based on rather one-sided financial gains too.
What happened as a result was not something anyone in the right mind would want to create: extreme poverty for many, increased sense of insecurity, wars and conflicts, climate distractions, child-trafficking, health issues, self-doubts, working just for money…
But now, we are seeing that the new world we belong to is a ‘meaning-driven‘ world full of meaning-driven companies and people. This is where we do what we do for greater meaning, for joy and for common good.
At least, it is starting now. Many leaders of great enterprises are now doing what they do, not for the ‘never-enough’ financial gains but for their own passion and the deep sense of purpose.
People are creating businesses to truly benefit others. Companies that are expressing their purpose and showing the world how they care are starting to gain more traction, enthusiastic support and momentum.
One simple idea can touch lives of many when it is driven with the true human desire to be connected, united and fulfilled, instead of being driven by the artificial need to have more than we really need and hold on to more and more things.
What if we all realised that the life with a strong focus to give more is much more meaningful than the life with a strong focus to get more?
I think every challenge in the world can be solved and transformed into a gift.
We are at the tipping point of happiness.