In today’s New York Times newspaper David Brooks, a right of center columnist, mentions that today’s conservatives need to stop extolling the virtues of the entrepreneur and focus more on ways that might improve the lives of the average American.
I don’t disagree with his assessment; however, I do think that it is important to study the virtues of entrepreneurs for two reasons: 1) the appear very happy, and 2) they contribute to the flourishing of society.
As I mention in my book, the average American can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs; in fact, the average American should be encouraged to harness their own entrepreneurial instincts as the means for achieving happiness in life (not necessarily start a new business) and the flourishing of society.
Successful entrepreneurs are well-educated, trained, involved in society, and open to activities that lead to successes and failures. These attributes lead to the wisdom and courage to see future opportunities and to capitalize on these opportunities. It is clear that those who are not well-educated, socially involved, or open to new activities to enhance one’s self-esteem will not be able to see a future course of action in life, nor have the courage to act on one’s convictions.
In addition, the entrepreneur who is building a new venture must be frugal with resources and be offering a product that can be useful to others. Of course, the venture will not succeed without the public’s embrace of the venture.
We can all learn from these successful entrepreneurs that the virtues of wisdom, courage, moderation, and concern for the well-being of society are the attributes that will lead to individual happiness and the flourishing of society. Of course, the final virtue of love of neighbor is also needed to complete the mission for all, especially the average American.