Editor,

I want to bring some attention to the potential drawback with the world’s current priority list. Going back to thousands of years ago, to ancient times, humanity has always been about advancing. This mindset has helped human progress in numerous ways: health care, transportation, education, conflagration. In the mid-20th century, a solid foundation was built, putting numerous countries on the pathway of deeper technological integration; now in the 21st century, even more nations join that path. 

Our lives are made more comfortable than ever with the help of computer chips, bullet trains, mobile money transfer, and artificial intelligence. My question is, “considering all of the things we, as humanity already acquire, do we really need another piece of technology, or should we put that effort elsewhere to help those who are suffering in this world.” Contrary to the modern belief that more scientific advancements are required to bring humanity to the next level, I believe that helping those who lack the privilege of others is top on the priority list. The only way to bring humanity to the next level is to show compassion, not greed. 

The term that can be used to describe the current incentive for rapid integration is “social Darwinism.”

Though a dated word that normally only appears on historical texts, Charles Darwin’s idea of “the survival of the fittest,” has never left the dictionary of humanity. Every single piece of technology ever made, is created by those who want to become stronger, to become better, more advanced than others. But keep in mind that it is impossible to become the most knowledgeable person, this is a competition that no one can win, but it’s very possible to help those who are in need.

Kelly Mou

Palo Alto

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(3) comments

Dirk van Ulden

Kelly - after 50 some years in this country as an immigrant, I have come to the conclusion that the difference between those who are considered privileged, and those who are not, is simply a case of not grabbing or accepting an opportunity when made clearly available. I came here in 1965 with $300 in my pocket with dreams. I was drafted within months and served in the US military. Because of my honorable discharge, I was eligible for the GI bill and got myself an education. How many of my contemporaries took advantage of that opportunity? Later on, I managed a highly diverse group of employees at a local utility. Many of those who are now considered 'under represented' viewed their employment as an entitled position and made little if any effort to achieve excellence. During performance reviews I had to walk on thin ice, even then. Again years later in my retirement, I became involved in an organization that ostensibly works to improve opportunities for children that are wards of the Juvenile system. The same disillusion cropped up, entitlement and coddling was the name of the game. Don't lecture me about privilege, these participating characters have the system figured out. We are all suckers if we continue this corrupt entitlement mentality. No more from me, if I can help it!

Wilfred Fernandez Jr

Kelly Mou,

In the 80's, my wife and I were able to purchase nice dwellings in nice neighborhoods for a quarter on the dollar. Feeling blessed, we saw this as an opportunity to make affordable housing available to those in need. After investing in repairs, new paint and flooring, we put out for rent; three bedroom, one bath units for two hundred dollars per month, less than half the going rate. Rent included gas, electric and weekly trash pick up. Our tenants, single mothers with children received gifts from us on Valentines, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas days. What we got in return was late or no rent, trash to include soiled diapers in closets and corners of rooms, pet excrement and damaged cabinets, doors, walls and appliances. In the course of opening a computer store and second internet service provider service in the Mat-Su Valley, I hired a struggling young geek. I bought him clothes, shoes and a used Suburban of his choice. I gave him enough cash to provide him with an apartment. As a thanks, he never returned from his first paid vacation. My cash cow business made it possible for me to hire a single mom of five. Not really having a position for her to fill, she became a receptionist and staff assistant. She expressed having a desire for a career with me. I provided her with hundreds of dollars worth of study material. After a good start, she failed to come to work when scheduled. For several days she did not call in sick. Concerned, I called and left a message on her answering machine to make sure she was okay. A couple of days later she called to apologize and admit that while she had never been treated so well, she intended to work until she could requalify for welfare.

My point is, maybe, just maybe, people live the way they want to and our concern for the "less privileged" is misplaced.

Terence Y

Kelly, thank you for your letter. In this world, there will always be some that have more privilege vis-à-vis financial means than others. Does this mean they have more humanity than others? Definitely not. Should we encourage those with “privilege” to choose to help those in need? Definitely. Should we force any of these “privileged” folks to help those in need? Definitely not.

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