March 18, 2012

What would you do with $80 billion?

If you saw our Facebook page, you may have seen a preview of a coming blog entry, so here it is:

What would you do with $80 billion? This came up in regards to Apple having more money than the US Treasury. I'm not going to hate on Apple for having that much money. In fact, the very fact that they got it without government bailouts or assistance is one reason to look favorably upon them and aspire to do the same.

The customers gave them their money on their own volition because Apple offered a good product, as opposed to them having political connections and getting bailouts when business is rough from the taxpayers. Big difference in having wealth vs how it was acquired. (Manufacturing practices, however, may be a different story, but I don't know enough about it to render a judgment.)

Normally when we hear of corporations and money, we're led to assume that the purpose of the company is to make lots of money so everyone within the company can live well (or the stockholders at least). In reality, most companies were always founded on the idea that there was a need they could serve in society. As for the money, it is like air: We need to breathe to live, but we don't live to breathe. We don't exist to make a profit, but we do need to be profitable.

We at Renewal keep this clear fact at the forefront. We have the potential advantage of being in a high-grossing field in video games, and so we see an opportunity to do great benefit to society. As such, there's no feasible reason for us to sit on $80 billion. There are too many people hurting that we could use that money to benefit.

And it's not all handouts. I'm so sick of handouts I don't know what to do. Handouts only alleviate symptoms of greater systemic problems. They don't SOLVE issues. With the money Renewal receives, we look to use that to SOLVE problems and truly get people back on their feet. And to be honest, that entails a whole lot more than just a handout. People are too complicated for handouts, but we think we can throw money at problems and expect issues to go away. No. That's insulting my humanity. Will you dig deeper than your money pit and help me with some community and fellowship? With some mentorship and personal development? Yeah, money is a need, no doubt. But it's far from the end-all, be-all.

If we had the privilege of stewarding billions of dollars, our goal would be to develop people from the inside-out and enable them to get on their feet on their own accord, with minimal assistance needed. Of course, we're just starting out. So it's just an aspiration right now.

But that means something to me as a relatively poor young man. I grew up in a loving home and developed my sense of identity through my relationship with Christ. My self-esteem was strengthened through Him before I had anything. Heck, I still don't have anything. But I know who and what I am, and I know what God wants me to be in life. That's purpose. Money doesn't grant purpose, it acquires stuff.

Let's do more than acquire stuff. Let's build purpose and vision.

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