Getting a good upbringing

It’s funny, when I was brought up, both my parents and my school and books and TV; everything around me tried to teach me the virtues of life. Do not murder, do not steal, do not covet thine neighbours wife. People told me to be good, to live a good life, to do good things, to strive for justice. The funny thing is that as an adult, I have to say that none of the people who followed that advice turned out to be successful in life (by society’s standards; monetary wealth and outward happiness). Those who are most successful are more often than not criminals, who routinely break the judicial laws of society. Successful people are often sociopaths that have little regard or respect for other humans. If you look at who becomes a boss of a company, it’s not the good guy that everyone likes; it’s the psychopath that does whatever it takes to get what they want.

Having a son of my own makes me think of these things. Should I really teach him to do good things, knowing that he will probably live his life at a disadvantage compared to others?

I always had the dream of setting up my own society. It would start as a company, and then I would hire just the right people, to build up an organization with good guys. It would be a work place where people had fun, and where people got support if they were having a hard time. It would not be a capitalistic blood sucker that brainwashes people into quiet submission. However, even in running a company, which I have now tried two times, I find that my honesty stands in my way. People are not used to someone telling the truth; in fact I find that people are so used to being lied to that they prefer to deal with liars. So my own dream of working my way up to my own perfect little world has always remained a dream.

So what do I tell my son? Should I try to sponsor him to follow my own dream? Or should I embrace the cynic and tell him that you need to be hard and ruthless to get ahead, and then after having stolen and pillaged your way to a good position only then can you consider to possibility of doing some good? Maybe it is weird to wrestle with such thoughts. Perhaps it is a remnant of my Christian upbringing. But I really find this difficult to deal with; wanting to live a moral life and wanting that for my son as well, but also wanting my son to live a prosperous life with all his needs fulfilled. It is difficult for me to see how anyone could have both.

Is a good upbringing the path that leads to a prosperous life? Or is the good upbringing the path that leads to good morals and virtues? Should I work for my son to find the simple pleasures first of money and social standing, and only later go after the higher pleasures of peace of mind and internal joy? Or should I work for my son to go for the higher pleasures first, knowing that he will in all likelihood miss out on more simple pleasures like never having to wonder if you are able to pay all bills this month? It really doesn’t feel like an easy choice to make.

Stepping out in deeper water

A few examples of the Thai shirts that we intend to sell. All cotton, top quality.

When we were living in Thailand, it was fairly common for people to come up and ask “Where did you buy that wonderful shirt?!”. Consequently, we started talking about becoming a reseller of the shirts. Simple way of making a bit of extra cash. Unfortunately, with a full time job as a teacher, we never felt like we had the time to go for it.

Now that we have arrived in Sweden, we did a budget and saw that we should be able to easily make it work as a side business. I wrote up a business plan, and I have made an appointment to talk to some consultants about the best way to get this off the ground. If it turns out to be a great success, great! If not, we could always keep it as a side business to get some extra vacation money. We really have nothing to lose, and right now we do have the time to do it.

I already started adding a webshop to my home page. We don’t have any products added, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to get something up and running. It will take a while to get products sent over from Thailand though… We need to see about that.