â€¦personally I think people with the power to detonate our economy and ravage our ecology would do better having a picture of Icarus hanging from the wallâ€¦.I want them thinking about the possibility of failure all the time. We have greed, weâ€™ve got over-confidence/hubris but since weâ€™re here at TED Women, letâ€™s consider one other factor that could be contributing in some small way to societal recklessness.
(shows Menâ€™s Bathroom Door Sign)
Now Iâ€™m not going to belabor this point, but studies do show that as investors, women are much less prone to taking reckless risks than men. Precisely because, as weâ€™ve already heard, women tend not suffer from over-confidence the same way that men do. So it turns out that being paid less, and being praised less has its upsidesâ€¦for society at least. The flip side of this is that constantly being told that youâ€™re gifted, chosen, and born to rule has distinct societal downsides. And this problemâ€”call it the perils of privilegeâ€”brings us closer to the root of our collective recklessness. Because none of us, at least in the global North, neither men nor women are fully exempt from this message.
“A nation or civilization that continues to produce soft-minded men purchases its own spiritual death on an installment plan.” – Martin Luther King Jr.