Muhammad Yunus is right!

Posted by: eric on October 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm

One of today’s great world heroes is Muhammad Yunus, founder of Grameen Bank, pioneer of microcredit and winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to alleviate poverty. Here is part of what Yunus said in his Nobel Prize lecture:

We get what we want, or what we don’t refuse. We accept the fact that we will always have poor people around us, and that poverty is part of human destiny. This is precisely why we continue to have poor people around us. If we firmly believed that poverty is unacceptable to us, and that it should not belong to a civilized society, we would have built appropriate institutions and policies to create a poverty-free world. We wanted to go to the moon, so we went there. We achieve what we want to achieve. If we are not achieving something, it is because we have not put our minds to it. We create what we want.

What we want and how we get to it depends on our mindsets. It is extremely difficult to change mindsets once they are formed. We create the world in accordance with our mindset. We need to invent ways to change our perspectivecontinually and reconfigure our mindset quickly as new knowledge emerges. We can reconfigure our world if we can reconfigure our mindset.

Yunus is right. As a society, we get what we want—or at least, what we set our hearts on achieving. Right now, we have a world run by plunderers, focused solely on individual material gain, and headed toward destruction through war, disease, or environmental catastrophe. But all these problems are the results of human action or inaction—and all can be solved if we put our minds to it.

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