I was sitting reading a national newspaper’s Rich List yesterday. And it made troublesome reading.
There are some extremely rich people in the UK and they are getting richer whilst the vast majority of us are getting poorer and/or struggling to make ends meet.
When you learn that one in five families are using food banks (places where you can go to get free food curtsey of supermarkets and donations from people), how can we justify film stars and singers being worth £40m, and the rest?
I know we all need to be entertained and that creativity through music, writing and acting has a value (namely to take us out of our hum-drum lives and give us solace, entertainment and a future vision), but when I hear of that amazing aid worker who has been beheaded in Pakistan or the soldier killed trying to diffuse bombs in Afghanistan, I have to wonder in the bigger scheme of things who is really adding value and at what price.
It’s a sobering thought that many people do the most amazing things; they make a difference and add value to people’s lives in the most difficult of situations (probably for little financial reward) whereas others do good things too and get paid a terrific amount for what is in effect, just another public service.
My thinking is that it’s all upside down. Somehow, we’ve lost sight of the value of life and its meaning in our quest to make money. Money talks in a way it never has done before. Perhaps if we started to have a different discussion about what we deem to be meaningful, then we could take some steps to reward those who add more meaning to bridge this gap between worth, price and value.