Many high school students attended a 10/16/08 conference held by the African American Health Institute of San Bernardino County. “Students, you all ready possess the talent to make better a piece of the world.
This requires the very hard work of discovering and developing that talent through critical and rational thinking. These ought to be done within the setting of fashioning a masterpiece life. A masterpiece is that to which nothing needs to be added or taken away; presently doing some of everything you think you need to do; and, eventually on your deathbed, being satisfied with your life.
To this end, Step I is to order and harmonize your Selfhood. After studying all of the world’s major philosophies and religions I am convinced that Ancient Africans did this the best. The standard of their philosophy of life was God; their Cherished Values was Ma’at (Love in action); and their Power Approach to life was Nonaggression (respecting all of God’s creatures and creations).
Step II is protecting yourself and loved ones in ways that do not cause further trouble.
Stay in control of your emotions and passions; always be honorable (no lying, cheating, or stealing); and never deliberately cause harm to others. These allow you to trust yourself; to prevent getting trapped or “caught” (since either can ruin your life); and to become a creative problem-solver.
Step III is learning how to manage your money—how to legally earn it; how to save it; how to invest it; and how to protect it.
When you get very busy in your career you will not have time to learn these things and
therefore start today paying attention to how money is used & abused. In school, take
courses that help you understand money.
Count on 98% of every body that comes in contact with your money will take more than
they should—whether directly (e.g. the government) or indirectly (e.g. your staff stealing
and your consultants over charging and your financial advisors doing self-serving things at your expense). Ancient Africans said every human ought to have ‘enough’ material goods but not be greedy.
Step IV--Your career ought to be about helping lessen the problems of struggling people and/or helping people get better. Money must never be at the forefront of this work. Yet, you do need to know how to get paid in order to remain free enough to provide selfless service and still have ‘creature comforts.’ During a fellowship at Johns Hopkins, because I was an orthopaedic surgeon super-specializing in genetics, I was allowed to examine all of the Dwarfs attending
a convention. This was the opportunity to satisfy my dream of putting together a subject that had never been done in the history of medicine. Hence, I had all of the world’s literature on Dwarfs translated and discovered all of it was wrong—meaning I had to start at the very beginning. As part of the process of gathering the largest collection of information in the world, I would travel up to 500 miles to examine even one Dwarf and would spend 4 days each in hospitals going through x-rays, despite finding no more than 2 Dwarf conditions.
Classifying collected information allowed me to see inter-relationships that solved many “impossible” problems. After 4 years of intense work, I wrote medical and orthopaedic articles and a book that changed the world’s literature about Dwarfs and how Dwarfs were thereafter surgically treated.
Each of these four Steps requires a great deal of self-education and formal education. My
13 years of training after college was never boring. For every extra year of education I
ended up doubling my yearly income. Thus, as a general practitioner I earned $ 1: as an
orthopaedic surgeon, $ 4; and as a super-specialist in genetics and orthopaedics, $ 8. The
key point is that having a double specialty ensures your success in the marketplace. It
takes only a spark to light a fire. Be that spark which fires a piece of the world to be
a little better.
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