Date: 3 June 2023
Subject: My net worth
On May 30th, 2023, I got a Certificate of Work Completion for the largest project I have been paid for - and yes, I have been paid for it, in cash, though some of the balance is still outstanding as of the time I write this.
Unless the United States Government defaults on its contract, this makes me a millionaire by accepted accounting standards.
While this gives me financial security as long as I do not spend imprudently, financial freedom comes with ethical obligations as well. As the French say: la noblesse oblige.
Here are the main sources of obligations I see:
- Remember to stay humble; remember humble roots. I believe in opportunity for everyone, and it's important not to forget to leave doors open for others to reach their full potential.
- Invest my time, the only equally distributed asset. There is a lot of talk about a universal basic income, but the most important asset everyone has is equally distributed by God: everyone wakes up with 86,400 in seconds (the number of seconds in a day) and when those are up, no amount of money can buy back a day poorly spent. It is important to keep work conditions fair and equitable for all, and think of the burden on other people's time that our actions and activities cause.
- Remember ethical business practices, fight for fair dealings. Opportunity depends on fair dealings with everyone, regardless of who they are or what status or privilege they hold or don't hold. It is important to deal fairly with everyone, on an individual basis.
- Keep in mind my carbon footprint. I have one of the smallest carbon footprints of anyone I know. I don't drive or have a car, rarely buy any manufactured goods, and travel as little as possible (airplanes are among the biggest polluters). Since the burden on our environment is one that is not priced into the price of goods, manufacturing, and services, it is important to keep in mind our personal carbon footprint. More money does not mean we have to spend more destroying our environment.
- Share the knowledge. Knowledge is power, and it is important not to hoard it for ourselves once we have gotten it somewhere, but to spread and give it back freely.
As I look ahead to the upcoming decades, I hope to be able to stay humble, ethical, volunteer a great amount of my time, and share my knowledge freely with as many people as possible.
If you have any other tips for how to live, my email is always open. Likewise, if you have anything you want to know or discuss or that you would like me to share with you drop me a line. I look forward to hearing from you.