My dear son
It was disappointing. I strained my ears, eavesdropping on a conversation. Young men and equally young ladies debated about life and their ambitions. It seemed they were involved in one business venture or the other. “Admirable”, I thought. However, disappointment strangled my hopes as the conversation descended into familiar territory. It oscillated between what Daddy was going to do and what uncle politician could sort out.
My son, I am burdened with being born in a society that is ridiculous in its fixation with the past. Upon meeting a stranger, the usual conversation begins with the school one went to and the neighbourhood they grew up in. This, coupled with one’s surname determines one’s standing in society. Race, tribe and social standing are seen as the getaways to future success. Or, if your tribe or race was unfortunate to have been disadvantaged in the past, then its mistakenly believed affirmative action will be a form of restitution.
My son, I too was unfortunate to belong in one of the above bandwagons. It soon enough led me to constantly wishing upon a star if only I had been born in this or that family, or with this or that fortune or advantage. I too was plagued severely, wondering why so and so were so and what it would take to be like them. At every corner I began to see all the disadvantages upon my lot. Surely if my blood had been bluer or if my father had been of a certain creed then my fortunes would change.
It is the nature of human beings to be wishful and wishing.
I urge you, at a very young age to dissuade yourself of all these notions. People are successful because they exert themselves in efforts that bring advantage to themselves. True winners care less about where, how and what they were born into. All they understand is that they themselves have the power to determine whom they become.
In life, you will achieve small measures of success, and equal if not more measures of failure. Such is life. It is not for me to coach you how nor to provide the five steps to ensure you win all the time. What I understand of life, and mere observation of nature is that both success and failure shall be constant visitors in your home, especially at a young age. What is important is how you deal with both.
Both, the bible instructs are visitors in our lives. None has found the alchemy or magic to choose one and not the other. When these visitors rest in your home, be assured they remain just that, visitors. You will lament in melancholy when success departs, and you will be elated when failure decides to leave. You have no control over these emotions, in as much as you have no control over the sunrise or sunset.
What you are in control of is your own person and the exertions of your abilities. The more you practise and exert your abilities in the direction of production the more success shall visit your home. The more you delay gratification and build a tolerance for hardship and pain the more your home is insulated of coldness of failure.
There is a reason why a lion fights with its claws, a bull its horns, a crocodile its teeth and a bee its sting. The bee does not ask for horns or a bull for a sting. Each animal and insect uses its natural potency and strength. It is folly of the highest for a lion to learn to fly and spend its days in this pursuit. A lion’s success is directly linked to its natural abilities. So it is for any human being to succeed. Play to your natural strengths and exert effort in those activities you have the best capability. Invariably, as you will learn from the animal kingdom your natural abilities are aligned to your survival. For humans, survival is producing in surplus.
It is not to say that he with the best natural ability will succeed. Far from it. A lazy, slothful crocodile will never survive the jungle. An intelligent human being without exertion is as dumb as a fish. Muscles not in exercise are as good as crippled.
But what is production and in what manner does production have to do with one’s life? Production is at the epicenter of man’s life. Man is a creature bestowed with the worst affliction, of many wants and not enough resources to meet those wants.
You might be tempted, like most, to answer this riddle of life, by limiting your wants. I cannot say with certainty if this is achievable. Since it is the nature of man to want. Then there is the possibility that without the urge to want, man can easily fall into rudiments similar to a donkey. But then again I have seen that a donkey never tires of wanting pasture. Give it hay in the middle of the night and a donkey will still munch. What does this say about the human being? Upon satisfaction of one want, another arises.
Listen careful my son, and how you can conquer this. Production ensures you are at the service of other mankind’s wants. By fishing more than you need, you fish for the next man not willing to fish or without the ability to fish. When at the service of other man, that is, in production, other men are more than willing to trade with you and giving you back what you want. Thus by fishing in surplus, the builder is willing to build you and your family shelter in exchange for your surplus fish.
By leaning towards your natural abilities and exerting pressure in those endeavors you will be in continuous surplus. When one is in surplus they gain the most important variable in the universe; Choice. By choice, I mean the ability to choose. This is the most liberating variable for human kind. There are those that cannot choose. Usually they languish in poverty. Poverty reduces one’s ability to choose even the most basic of wants like food. They only eat what they are given. Choice derived from production ensures one is able to choose what they eat, where they live, and how they conduct leisure and work. It is not to say that the wants of the man in production are satiable. Rather, it is to say that a man in production’s wants at least the rudimentary and those for his basic survival are met. Furthermore, beyond the rudimentary he has the ability to choose and pick what best will satisfy him.
It is not to say that a man of production is materialistic. Rather, in his urge to be in production surplus he helps society directly. To be in surplus, the production man must be innovative. I grew up in an era without mobile telephony and certain production men exerted pressure and abilities to eventually come up with mobile telephony. Men wanting this gadget were plenty and the production men were soon in surplus. Two goals had been met, the production man and the wants of other men. Society was better off. The nature of life is that there is always something that society wants and still wants. Society will never run short of wants. It is the moral duty of production men to meet those wants.
By doing so they exhibit qualities that make them rise to the top of society. They are gallant, daring, thinkers, fighters, of valor, determined, strong willed, long suffering. Indeed every attribute that brings out the best in individuals. The nature of this meritocracy is that only the best kind, with the greatest determination succeeds. In front of their peers they are successful because they have brought society to excess.
While I extoll the virtues of the production man, I must warn you of his nemesis. The political man, and the war man. These two types invariably find common cause and are often in one person. In this letter I will not comment more than this; the political man is never keen on production, at all times he has neither teeth nor claws to survive. He has not the abilities in production and relies in forcing other men to comply with his way. Usually they use the law to achieve coercion. Usually to ban or impede men of production.
Study carefully history and the man that dot history books. Not the men that made noise, but rather the men that built our civilization. They were almost always men of production. From Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, British and American civilizations, it has always been men of production who bring satisfaction to society. Almost always it is self-made men. And in those centuries when society was endowed with Self-made men, civilization was at its greatest.
For every Borgia and Napoleon, there is Medici and Rothschild. Men of war versus men of production. Interesting that men of war accumulate their largess by forcefully taking from others while man of production accumulate surplus through innovation. Man of war, destroy, and men of production catapult society to a place where most people can meet their rudimentary wants and begin to have choices in their lives.
Monarchs and churches created barriers to aristocracy. Creating a myth of the “chosen individual” to rule over other men. Suddenly man had blue blood. It was the men of production, from misers, bastards, housemaids, illiterates, slaves and all of lowly individuals who had nothing but ambition who brought us our civilization. They gained aristocracy through toll and production. By being in surplus, they raised the lives of their lot.
I have travelled in great many cities and towns and I have been imbued with the history of it all. The Majesty of Barcelona, the glamour of Paris, the Art in Rome, New York, Alexandra, Sydney, Johannesburg, Nairobi, Lagos, Oslo and many more. What I saw was evidence of a trail that men of production had been at work. Even more when I studied the artwork, museums, libraries, universities, medical centers, theatres and the entire sort that habitants enjoy I realized something. It was all made possible through the endowments of men of production. Michelangelo and his work was commissioned by the Medici Family, the largest theatres and museums of New York by JP Morgan, Chicago University by Rockefeller. All, men of production. Diseases and ailments that shortened the lives of humans were exclusively eradicated through funding by endowments of men of production.
Your loving, faithful