WARNING! SPOILERS AHEAD!
So we watched Black Panther, me and the missus. A common thread running through the various movie reviews is that it is a movie with a message or a movie with relevant commentary. Which is what a good movie does, it appeals to a deeper part of our psyche beyond the surface of superhero themes, action sequences and explosions.
“Zuri: The world is changing. Soon there will only be the conquered and the conquerors. You are a good man, with a good heart. And it’s hard for a good man to be a king.”
This is the line that kills me. How many times have we heard our elders tells us this. Basically it is saying do not be a good person or the world will eat you up. The first and second line triggers our survival instincts – conquer or be conquered. The third and fourth line seek to harden our hearts for a good man with a good heart cannot function properly in the world. It is saying being good is a kind of disability in the world.
There is a reason for this kind of thinking, when we were surviving in the world against the elements and other predators, being good is an imaginary concept that only the priviledged few, who are protected from these threats, can entertain. But when we are living in comfort and convenience, where the main cause of deaths are from other human beings, we have to ask ourselves whether this form of belief, is it causing part of violence mankind does to each other?
“Erik Killmonger: Just bury me in the ocean with my ancestors that jumped from the ships, because they knew death was better than bondage.”
Erik Killmonger wasn’t just a bad person, in a world where you are either a good man being conquered or a bad man doing the conquering, why wouldn’t conquering be better than bondage of being conquered?
“T’Challa: Wakanda will no longer watch from the shadows. We can not. We must not. We will work to be an example of how we, as brothers and sisters on this earth, should treat each other. Now, more than ever, the illusions of division threaten our very existence. We all know the truth, more connects us than separates us. But in times of crisis the wise build bridges, while the foolish build barriers. We must find a way to look after one another, as if we were one single tribe.”
Our past sins, couching the world in terms of conquered/conquerors, good/bad, will only lead to the conclusion that barriers are good for us.
And so it is with investments as well. What?! You didn’t think this was going to be a financial piece as well? There are definitely financial lessons to be drawn here. In the market, we are also fed the idea that GREED is GOOD. In the market, we have definitely heard a bunch of stories of how you are either the person making money, or if you can’t identify the person making money, you are most likely the person that Other People are making money out of. Survival instincts is very much in play in the market, there are plenty of distrust and scepticism of financial professionals to protect hard earned monies.
And so there are plenty who believe to make money off the market you cannot be good. Or if you are the financial decision maker for your company/family, you shouldn’t be a good guy. Which is true to a certain extent. But to the extent that people move in and out of the market, believing the only way to make money is to buy/sell from a greater fool is really killing a lot of people inside. They believe in money matters, they should be inHuman, or they will end up being one of the financially oppressed.
In Black Panther they talked about building bridges, so how do we build financial bridges? What is a financial bridge anyway? If we couch the market in terms of conquered/conqueror or good/bad, we will build only barriers. We have to go back to what is the very basic definition of investments. It is to put money in a business which generates profit. We live in a world where population is still growing, and there are masses of poor growing consumption into middle classes. Education level is rising and factories are getting more automated. These are profitable enterprises which will enrich the world together. If we are still stuck with our silly notion of investing to beat the other person or going out to market like it is a battlefield, we will remain stuck behind our barriers.