Thing to read first:
[WARNING – Contains coarse language.] Hank Green’s Facebook post about the struggles of weighing financial benefits over moral ones.
Ah, yes…money. The green (or purple, blue, red, yellow, and green if you’re Australian) with which most hope to, someday, make it rain wherever they walk.
But there will be times in your life where making money is, while somewhat financial beneficial for your future self, is perhaps not the best thing to do morally or ethically. Hank Green goes over this quite broadly, but I believe it is something worth pointing out and reiterating.
Let’s go through his first two paragraphs. He writes…
There have been, in my life, a number of times when I have intentionally made decisions that I knew would mean I would make less money and be less influential. I did this because, for whatever reason, it just wasn’t worth it. It wasn’t worth the stress…it felt icky…it relied on me exploiting relationships that I valued. Stuff like that.
And then, years would pass, and something would happen where someone I didn’t like would come forward talking about all of the money they made doing the thing I didn’t do and I would be angry and jealous.
I think that this is a very valuable perspective and one that should be observed in everyone.
But then, you have to be aware that it’s a lot more difficult than you might anticipate. To say that you want to be moral – and end up sacrificing monetary gain as a result – and then to be able to withstand the consequences… it can be daunting and frustrating.
I know of a YouTuber named CGP Grey, who quit his teaching job for a full-time career making viral educational videos. He entered the teachers’ world just for the holiday periods. He would often spend those holidays not always for beach-lazing, but for personal projects. Those projects eventually mutated into viral YouTube video-making, podcasting on Hello Internet and Cortex, and live-streaming video games. As those began to have momentum, he slowly phased out his teaching job to pursue this full-time. It was quite a scary and daunting time for CGP Grey. Had it not been for his conviction to attaining systematic organisation in his self-employed life, and his passion for explaining things in hilarious detail and charm… I doubt that he would have such an impact on me, let alone the YouTube education community.
I know that for me, I am quite frugal. Even my own MOTHER says that I am too frugal, that I need to live a little. But, I know that life isn’t gonna get any easier and as such, I need to ensure that I keep as money as I can…for ANY reason (like, I dunno, having to repeat a university subject, like, 5 times or something). Hence why I always want to stay at home and keep to myself on my computer: no wasteful spending going out with friends or acquaintances. I just hate being social sometimes.
I should iterate why I have this sort of mindset. I have a deep distrust of other people in general, (Thanks, parents!) I have a nature/culture of minimalistic spending, (again, “Thanks, parents!) and I’ve learned to enjoy my own company without being face-to-face with someone just for the sake of something different from tedium. (Say it with me, dear reader: “Thanks, parents!”)
I know I give them a hard time, but is it an exaggeration to say that one is created in the image of the forefathers, despite being seemingly different on the macroscope?
But I should also iterate that I indeed DO love my parents… even if at times I question their decisions and reasoning at times. I still give them money when needed (my Korean pop music fanatic sister is perhaps the most frequent exception). It may not be my realm to judge them what is good or bad (and half the time I don’t really care), but the times where they ask for my opinion, they often regret how honest I am. I would be VERY surprised if there was ever a time where they took my word as gospel, particularly my father (who seems so pretentious at home, yet so tolerant outside).
Anyway, back to moral conviction versus financial gain. If anyone remembers, I was given an offer by this blog conglomerate in the early months of this blog’s conception. I gave the opportunity to a person I was following at the time, and he actually wrote a post about me. I reposted it on this blog, but then I had to take down the post. I never told anyone except Ramisa the Authoress (now A Little Raya Sunshine) about why.
I declined the conglomerate’s offer because I simply didn’t think of myself as a gamer blogger (the e-mail stated that I would fit in the “Games” section). I think you, dear reader, can see that I’m not AT ALL a gaming-oriented blogger.
My vision for the blog was that I could give advice on how to live a life with depression and cultural clashes, particularly between Asian-Western cultures. It then evolved (or devolved) more into a general rant blog. I have no idea about what sort of readership I have, or whether my site is only visited by scamming bots or not. I simply don’t know. I wish I could know, but all I see are spam and advertisement comments linking me to either phishing websites or blogging conglomerates. I wanted this to be free and personal, not artificially generated by some sneaky corporate scheme unbeknownst to me.
As for why I removed the reblogged post which mentioned me… it was because the person who wrote about me was… quite a different person in personal correspondence. He wanted me to, “cut the niceties” and to be, “serious and honest about this whole blogging business.” He wanted me to be driven to make content that was going to be financially viable. He didn’t want this blog of mine to just be content that was sub-par to something of literary excellence.
I guess he couldn’t understand the naivety of my vision for this blog. We were not on the same page about what my goals were, and as a result, I never replied to him. He wasn’t worth the effort for my explanation, simply because I didn’t want him to be so aggressive and critical towards my aspirations. I had them clear in my mind at the time and in my opinion, I’ve stayed true to them. No paid promotions, no shipping my content to new domains. No deadlines. It’s all in my control.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for a way to find some sort of financial success. I’ll tell you one thing: it’s always going to be your choice. Not your parents, not your spouse or partner, not your friends or your neighbours or whatever. It’s all on you to make an informed, conscious, and devoted decision to either follow morality or follow commercial gain. In the end, unethical decisions will put blood on your hands, no matter how much you will want to scrub it clean.
You will forever be like Lady Macbeth, washing your blood-stained hands if you choose an immoral path… maddening yourself in your delusions.
Ignorance and arrogance are delusions.
The choice is yours, dear reader. Your move.