Facebook, which has been acting extremely weird of late, does have a nice little feature called “Memories” that revisits posts you made on this date in history. The other day it reminded me that I once said:
“Life is not a zero-sum enterprise. Every day billions of creative beings each make something that never existed before.”
It’s one of my favorite concepts. It’s the answer to the absurd notion that people who become successful or wealthy must have exploited or taken from someone else.
According to Scrivener, I have written more than 47,000 words for this blog so far this year. The words did not exist before in the particular order that I wrote them, except when I was quoting someone. I didn’t take 47,000 words away from anyone else, I just did some work and produced new sets of words.
It happens every day: Billions of people interacting with each other and creating more value for the rest of us. Our minds and hands are always building something new.
I have quoted this excerpt from Wallace D. Wattles before, because he says it better than I can:
You must get rid of the thought of competition. You are to create, not to compete for what is already created.
You do not have to take anything away from any one.
You do not have to drive sharp bargains.
You do not have to cheat, or to take advantage. You do not need to let any man work for you for less than he earns.
You do not have to covet the property of others, or to look at it with wishful eyes; no man has anything of which you cannot have the like, and that without taking what he has away from him.
You are to become a creator, not a competitor; you are going to get what you want, but in such a way that when you get it every other man will have more than he has now.
Or, to put it another way, life is not a zero-sum enterprise. We add value every day. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.