I found the vitriol towards Jeff Bezos yesterday to be so strange. Here’s a guy that was flipping burgers at McDonalds when he was 16 (because he had too much acne to work at the cash register), and all the guy’s done since was work, and innovate, and reinvest in himself and his company until he changed all of our daily lives. He went from nothing to becoming the richest man in the entire world in less than a lifetime, and now he’s exploring his childhood fantasies as a sci-fi geek and pushing our entire species towards space exploration. But all most people had to say was what a horrible piece of shit he is who should give all his money away to them or to stop/help (insert cause), as if it was their money to spend. It isn’t. And if you want to spend your billions differently, then make them, and do as you like. That’s your right, as it is his.
Defending billionaires may seem a weird hill to die on, but when I see the attitudes people have towards the successful, and especially the uber-successful, I understand why they themselves are not. See, Bezos, Musk, Gates, Branson, they’re not sitting around criticizing your successes. I’m sure they would even celebrate them. But when you criticize theirs, you tell yourself success is bad. Success hurts others. Success should be limited, and you then limit your capacity for success in a world that is built of abundance, limited only by our thinking.
Yes, they could do different things with their money. So could you. If the millions and millions of people criticizing Bezos yesterday spend 1% of their time and money towards whatever problems they think he should be solving, they would probably solve it themselves. Or go a long way in solving it. But everyone wants it to be someone else’s fault/responsibility. It isn’t. If you feel passionate about a cause or problem, then jump in and work on it. Don’t focus on what someone else is doing or not doing with their money and influence. Make your own. His passion is clearly exploring the galaxy. Our universal intelligence will use that to everyone’s advantage, just as our universal intelligence will use your passions the same way. That’s why we have passions. And if you hate him because you don’t like how Amazon treats their employees, then don’t use Amazon.
I know we live in an age where criticizing each other feels purposeful, but it isn’t. And those “likes” we get for spreading hate towards people only pulls from our own vital creative energy. Build your own rocket ship. That’s your purpose.