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It’s very important for people to know themselves and understand what their value system is, because if you don’t know what your value system is, then you don’t know what risks are worth taking and which ones are worth avoiding-Ben Carson

This week’s edition started with a gentle tone. My billionaire friend was wearing a bright smile. He was feeling energetic and it was contagious. He said he was going to share with me something he believed was a core foundation in building wealth. The lessons in this edition are timeless, and for as long as man shall live, they would remain relevant.

The conversation went thus:

“The observance of globally-accepted human virtues and values are the lubricants that protect the world and its contents from self-destructive conflicts and wars. If humans did not identify, confirm, accept and respect some necessary globally-accepted human virtues and values, the world would have since been destroyed by man through the use of power with impunity by nations, and national leaders in avoidable conflicts”.

“These accepted values and virtues have prevented the use of nuclear weapons held by some nations, which can easily destroy the world in some exothermic nuclear reactions. Values and virtues are the necessary ingredients for ensuring that, human activities are carried out with generally-acceptable decorum, norms and ethical standards”.

“Human values, on the other hand, help us to pursue our human-driven goals for survival, power, and wealth. Indeed, without globally-accepted human values and virtues, the motions and activities surrounding human existence and the pursuit of different conflicting and colliding goals would only have long led to the self-destruction of human existence. This would have been the case with humans pursuing a massive number of different conflicting self-centred goals in intra and inter-destructive ways and mostly in absolute impunity and disregard for the interest of others”.

“It is therefore important that wealth builders should only pursue their wealth goals in full realisation that, to avoid the destruction of self and others, they must pursue every one of their goals with globally-accepted values and virtues, as a guide. Wealth builders would only end up destroying their very existence and defeat the purpose of their wealth-building goals, where they do otherwise. Indeed, a clear confirmation of the importance of this, is in the United Nations 1948 declaration of human rights, for the peace and harmony of humans on earth, by spelling out the values of integrity, fairness and respect as very important towards ensuring that peace and tranquillity are maintained in all human activities, to prevent the world from going into unnecessary conflicts”.

“Values inspire, motivate and engage people into discharging their obligations, responsibilities and duties, while human virtues ensure that man’s acceptable ethics are well guarded in the interest of mutually beneficial co-existence, peace and harmony of humanity”. 

“Globally-accepted virtues and values are therefore necessary for the success of human endeavours and interactions at family, society and national levels. Generally, human values are expected to be guided by ethical actions of fairness, respect and honesty for the peaceful attainment of human goals. Generally-accepted virtues must therefore be incorporated into the pursuit of every human value’.

“The scholar, Doris Schroeder, cited four major values, which have been universally accepted as important value frameworks for humanity. He names them, fairness, respect, care and honesty.  Others, who have joined Doris Schroeder, are Peale Chatfield and Peter Herisson-Kelly. These have also listed out some virtues, namely: respect, consideration for others, appreciation of others, listening to others, openness, affection, empathy and love towards others. These identified virtues are advised for all man’s endeavours and interactions, to facilitate good socialisation harmony and human development”.

“Wealth builders must incorporate these virtues for building their wealth, for their good reputation, integrity and esteem. They must listen to the views of others and learn to be open, transparent and honest, showing affection and empathy to others while building their wealth. Their values must be stimulated by the can-do attitude and thinking, in achieving their goals, as extensively discussed in our conversation last week, with citings from the scholarly contributions of Brian Tracy and Vincent Peale. Wealth builders must be excited by globally-accepted values and virtues in their pursuits while overcoming their various goal challenges’. 

“Wealth builders’ motivations should be centralised around the achievement of their wealth building goals while being guided by globally-accepted virtues”.

“In creating wealth, wealth-builders must choose to create the necessary environment for achieving their predetermined goals. Hedonism is again one of the values which wealth builders must possess. Hedonism is necessary for deriving pleasure in the pursuit of wealth while enjoying the process”.

“The need for hedonism is why wealth-builders are advised to choose their wealth-building goal around their passions. When wealth builders choose to make their wealth around their passions, it greatly energises them into achieving their goals optimally. Wealth builders must have some “can-do”, inbuilt spirit to achieve their predetermined goals’.

Such goals should only, however, be pursued using globally-accepted virtues for self and humanity’s common benefits. Wealth builders must, of course, be power-driven. Power-driven in the sense of achieving some enviable self-esteem and dominance over life’s challenges”.

“They must imbibe the values of building properly secured wealth, for creating lasting legacies. Such security values are very important. Conformity with rules, regulations and laws of society are very important values that wealth builders must possess. Customs and traditions of trade must be obeyed. Wealth builders as of rule must conform to established customs and traditions of their wealth-building environment. And in the process of doing this, they must ensure that their ambitions are guided by self-respect and intelligence”.

“At this stage, I must mention that it is important that we take into consideration that every culture of the world, has all these aforementioned human values and virtues, inbuilt in them, which have been passed down for many generations and with many of them now forming our globally accepted human values and virtues. This calls for a discussion on how African indigenous cultures promote values and virtues in agreement with global-accepted values and virtues. Indeed, indigenous African cultures recognise these same values, as have long been held by other races of the world”. 

“There was a time I had a lot of business going on in the western parts of Nigeria, and this got me into intense observation and research into the values of the Yoruba people. Yoruba indigenous cultures have long recognised these same globally-accepted values,  which is what has helped the Yoruba to develop into one of the most cultured societies in the world. Yoruba indigenous cultural values, lay strong emphasis on courage, strength and determination. The Yoruba indigenous culture places wealth as the least of societal values and virtues. In other words, there are some values and virtues that wealth builders must possess as necessary and all-important precedence over wealth. Wealth owners would only be appreciated and celebrated within the Yoruba culture, after the possession of certain cultural values and virtues. These are, namely; courage, wisdom & knowledge, integrity, honesty & reputation, hard work, contentment, self-esteem, love and valour. All these are necessary precedent values and virtues to wealth, that wealth owners must possess before being accepted, celebrated and respected in Yoruba society. Any wealth built without these precedents Yoruba indigenous cultural values would be ignored and the wealth owner would be treated with ignominy”.

Let us take each of these precedent values, one by one. With regards to the issue of courage and strength, Yoruba indigenous culture places more respect on members of its society that demonstrate courage and strength over wealth builders. As can be seen from the Yoruba early history, the warrior Eso,  Basorun, Are Onakakanfo, etc., were given precedence over wealth owners in the Yoruba society of Oyo-Ile. In those days these various classes of warriors were rated highly important than wealth owners. The second classification is those with wisdom and knowledge. The Yorubas gave them far more respect in society than wealthy owners. Every king in Yorubaland depended and still depends on those wise and knowledgeable people than moneybags. This class of citizens were more revered than wealthy owners. More importantly, the Yoruba revered and respected the virtue of “Omoluabi” which in English translation, means those in society with integrity, good and acceptable reputation, well mannered, and were known to be open and transparent. Indeed, the Omoluabis in Yoruba society were much more highly revered by the Yoruba than wealthy owners. Yoruba people also value hard work.  Any wealth owner without a traceable and proven history of hard work would not be respected by the Yoruba indigenous culturally-driven society. Only the wealthy with proven and traceable wealth, built from hard work wisdom, honesty, courage, integrity and reputation, were revered and accepted by the Yoruba as against those without a proven history of these. The Yoruba also valued wealth-builders with contentment. Those who pursue wealth without apparent contentment are regarded in Yoruba indigenous culture as bad eggs and are not appreciated, nor respected within Yoruba society. The Yoruba highly value self-esteem and reputation”.

“To buttress this point, a Yoruba adage has it, that: when you already have self-esteem and reputation, why again seek wealth; after all, you already have what is greater than wealth. Love is also highly promoted in Yoruba indigenous culture. The love of one’s family, the love of one’s neighbour,  such that if your neighbour happens to be hungry and you enter your neighbour’s farm to feed, Yoruba indigenous culture sees nothing wrong in such feeding to full contentment from the harvest of the farm. Yoruba culture only forbids such consumers from thereafter taking home some part of the farm’s harvest after such feeding. Such stealing to take home is what is condemned in Yoruba indigenous culture. And then the value of valour in the defence of Yoruba society and willingness to sacrifice one’s life in defence of Yoruba society is most valued by Yoruba indigenous culture.”

How can wealth builders integrate these values into their wealth building endeavours?

“The answer to this question is that every wealth builder must proceed in his wealth-building activities by ensuring that they imbibe these aforementioned values and virtues in making their wealth-building life meaningful by integrating them and growing their young ones for the benefit of future society. Society, including wealth builders, must utilise and promote these values and virtues, in schools, universities, polytechnics, social groups etc. We must promote these virtues and values to make our future generations realise that wealth is only useful when used for meaningful living. The pursuit of wealth without these virtues and values would make living very meaningless”.

Any Experiences?

“Our current society, notwithstanding its unfortunate monetised values, still has some legends that command respect, those individuals who have built their lives with globally-accepted reputations, values and virtues, for emulation. We have already covered a number of them in this series”.

“This week’s conversation is important for guiding society away from its current unfortunate over monetisation of values. Wealth builders must not lay emphasis only on wealth without ensuring that globally-accepted societal values and virtues are incorporated into the ingredients for brewing their wealth. Wealth builders must respect these values and virtues to secure their respect by society and enhance their societal acceptance”.

So far. Can’t wait to catch up with you next week


Our current society notwithstanding its unfortunate monetised values still has some legends that command respect, those individuals who have built their lives with globally-accepted reputation, values and virtues, for emulation. We have already covered a number of them in this series.


These accepted human values and virtues have prevented the use of nuclear weapons held by some nations, which can easily destroy the world in some exothermic nuclear reactions. Human values and virtues are the necessary ingredients for ensuring that, human activities are carried out with generally-acceptable decorums,  norms and ethical standards.

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