Worth is a desirable objective for all kinds of people. The businesswoman wants to accumulate more Net Worth for her financial well-being. The counselor wants to inspire more Self Worth for individuals seeking emotional health. However, in these two straightforward cases, worth is treated too simplistically. Net Worth is a shallow, tangible aspiration. Individuals craving more money are easy to find, easy to measure, and may create some additional value. Self Worth is slightly trickier because it features improved behaviors and attitudes. It often assumes a higher moral road than an individual pursuing Net Worth. Self Worth claims some power by virtue of countering the capitalistic greed that Net Worth implies. But again, Self Worth focuses on the individual. Consequently, it is also limited.
Economics has a concept called the “multiplier effect”. In essence it describes additional economic activity that results from initial economic activity. For example, a businesswoman starts a company. She hires employees to produce and deliver the good or service. As more people in the business’ community are put to work, they in turn buy more goods and services with their wages. At some level, these employees acquire houses and cars which require heightened levels of lending by the community’s banks. As loans are made and repaid, more lending is available. Furthermore, more goods enter the community for sale. As more goods and services enter the community for the newly prosperous employees, the overall economy grows. Additional economic activity has resulted from initial economic activity.
Looking at Worth As Contribution is much more complex and much more fulfilling. The economists are conceptually correct. When worth is put to work, it provides opportunities to share and grow. Money that is invested presents growth opportunities as that investment increases its value. A shared idea gains momentum so that additional individuals who are giving their value to the idea produce incremental results. Worth As Contribution enables adding resources to an organization, an entity, a force, or a wish that already exists. The result, when productively constructed, yields greater worth for the initial force plus greater value for all who participate.
Presently, with so much attention paid to ideas going viral, Worth As Contribution represents a path to create more… more wealth, more esteem, more value. Individuals can freely choose to pursue their capitalist desires. Building Net Worth is important in our society. Pursuing Self Worth empowers individuals to benefit from self- actualization which maximizes their desire to contribute. However, Worth As Contribution maximizes value by leading to building communities, economies, learning environments, and wealth. Worth As Contribution includes additional individuals, plus their ideas. It attracts additional wealth because of potential tangible benefits. It captures the human spirit which desires leaving a legacy by pouring in physical, mental and emotional resources toward building more than one individual can. A community benefiting from collective worth will always be more powerful than any individual driving herself and a few others toward getting more stuff.