We Need Values 👼

Date Published
November 14, 2022

We Need Values 👼

I very rarely act on impulse.

I think the smart, mature, strategic thing to always do in time of anger, and even in times of ecstatic happiness, is to pause, take 10 long breaths, and plan your reaction -if you need to- or preferably, call off any reaction if possible. This has always been my strategy personally and professionally. My motto is “never make a promise when you are ecstatically happy and never take a decision when you are furiously angry”.

But! I did break this rule this weekend and took to LinkedIn to express my distraught at what has happened in the Crypto world over the passed week. If you notice, I didn’t technically break the rule, because I did write the LinkedIn post five days after the event had happened, but that’s not the point.


Since this is a 💡Bulb and not a blog post, I will spare you the technical explanation of DeFi & CeFi and industry jargon and focus on the other part, the human greed.

The backstory:

Unless you live under a rock, or still pay in cash, last week the infamous FTX, the world’s second largest cryptocurrency exchange filed for bankruptcy after a long week’s turmoil of shockingly unfolding round the clock events.

At its peak, FTX was valued at nearly $32 Billion but apparently its CEO Sam Bank-Man Fried -yes that is his real name, you cannot make this up- was ponzi scheming its 1,000,000 or so customers. This all has to do with him issuing FTT, a token his company created, and giving it, almost for free, to Alameda Research.

Alameda is a quantitative trading firm focused on digital assets that he also owned. Alameda would then resell the FTT as a high value token with special FTX discounts to its customers, tricking them into believing that FTT had any actual value when in fact like a lot of crypto tokens, it was kind of a made-up thing with value derived from believing there was value. This gave both companies leverage to take on several loans from several banks on leverage. And if you thought the banks knew of the other loans from the other banks, guess again! The banks did not communicate with one another and did not know about each others loans and the whole thing just fried. One partner at a Venture Capital Firm said: “They printed this token out of thin air, endowed it with some valuation, and then Alameda used it as collateral”. You know, business as usual, just another day at the office!

Back to the Bulb:

The second half of that post I wrote on LinkedIn was: “The problem is human greed and lack of consumer awareness”. Drop the consumer awareness bit, you are left with human greed.

You see, this problem with crypto exchanges falling, people going bankrupt, victims loosing all their savings, normal families loosing their homes, young men and women hopelessly taking on loans now because they cannot afford to cover their losses, has been a broken record this year, and people are blaming crypto and blockchains. I even over heard one suited up gentleman at coffee blame the banks, the banks! No dear sir the problem is not the banks, it’s not the promising technology, it’s not the digital currencies, it’s non of that -though it might be nice to have a little bit more regulations and tighter policies required- but grosso modo, it’s humans, and particularly humans with no values.

We cannot change the world, we cannot enforce manners and behaviors, but we can teach our children how to have realistic-true-life-experience-concrete values. Plant it in their minds and have them live by these values, abide by them, use them, be guided by them every step in life. Definitely not like via ubiquitous teaching methods, we’ve seen how that’s been going.

For this to work out, they need to know their values’ importance, need to know how and when, but most importantly why they need to use them and protect these values.

My values are Accountability, Excellence, Integrity, Daring, Passion, and Collaboration.

These are neither just claims I put on a website, nor are they pronouncements in public. My values, to me, form a way of life, a spiritual guide if you may, a mantra that directs my every action and reaction in personal and professional circumstances.

Whenever I am at fault, whether at work or even with my four year-old son, I hold myself accountable, I apologize and try to learn from my mistakes. In every project I take on, be it a mega client campaign, or a mundane task as grocery shopping, I try, to the best of my abilities, to complete it with excellence. I have often dared to adopt new ideas and launch new revenue streams at the workplace, and boy have I dared to go places my wife has suggested! I attend every briefing and every school dance passionately because I love my job and I undoubtedly love my children. Every idea, decision, and project, I take it collectively with my team, yes it’s only done with those whom have enough jurisdiction on the matter, but the point is to collaborate together whenever possible. Lastly, if my values had a leader, it would be integrity, credibility, one that I absolutely do not risk at any expense. Integrity is reputation, it’s legacy, it defines a person.

Not to sound pious or righteous, trust me, I am far from being devout, but I am devoted to my values. They are the map that directs every route I take in life and I will raise my children to choose values that best resonate with them and have them draw their own maps.

If we chose values we could live up to, then humanity would be much safer, gentle, forgiving, transparent, honest, and most importantly, kind. Less people would go bankrupt because of others’ greed, less people would starve because of others’ gluttony, and less people would be in pain because of others’ selfishness.

Browse More 💡Bulbs

Digital | Communications | Technology

2024 © Bilal Hallab. All Rights Reserved.