In An Era of BLM And COVID-19, We Need A New Paradigm Of Holistic Wealth

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With the recent killing of George Floyd, the Black Lives Matter protests, as well as the onslaught of COVID-19 globally, it has become more apparentt han ever that we need a new paradigm. ⁠— one based on holistic wealth for all. In my book Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose, Prosperity and Happiness, I state that, "I believe that the single biggest threat to economic stability is income and wealth inequality and imbalances in the world." Despite advances, certain groups still struggle to have basic access to human rights and dignity, and they face systemic barriers prevent the accumulation of wealth. What this means is that Black and Brown people essentially struggle (or have been prevented in many cases) from living a holistically wealthy lifestyle. I further state in my book that. "I believe that if we don't address these issues fiercely and urgently, we will be perpetuating a crisis of massive proportions that will be exacerbated by increased technological advancement and change."

With record debt, divisiveness, disease, and inequalities, we need a whole new paradigm for moving forward. We need a renewed definition of wealth. Not one driven by greed, power, morbid capitalism, and ego. A renewed definition that puts humanity first. One based on holistic wealth for all. We need to create holistically wealthy communities where citizens have equal rights and justice and where law enforcement treats everyone with dignity and respect, essentially what the Black Lives Matter movement has been advocating for. We need an education system that allows children to learn effectively and one that honors their history. A healthcare system that is responsive to the needs of all groups, one that is accessible for all. This is indeed holistic wealth.

Despite advances, certain groups still struggle to have basic access to human rights and dignity, and they face systemic barriers prevent the accumulation of wealth.

The statistics are startling for women of color who are also single moms. As I state in Holistic Wealth:

Women of color head more single-family households, in which they are the main breadwinners, yet they earn less and have lower job prospects. In the US, almost 39 percent of [B]lack families headed by women live in poverty; the rate of poverty is almost 39 percent in Hispanic families headed by women and almost 30 percent in Asian American families headed by women. "Among all other ethnic groups, Native American female-headed families with children had the highest poverty rate. More than two in five (42.6 percent) live in poverty." In an article for the New York Observer (now known as the Observer), I spoke about this "emaciation effect," a phenomenon that affects people of color who have to deal with regular stressors in addition to a lifetime of racial discrimination, which also affects our ability to achieve holistic wealth.

A New Theory Of Change

In order to move forward, we need a new theory of change driven by the points I have outlined above. The new theory of change also embraces the art of recovery from disruption, which my book Holistic Wealth is based on, so that all groups even if they face setbacks in life can bounce back and still achieve their true potential and contribute to driving humanity forward. Dignity for all is a big part of this new paradigm. We need to raise up a whole new generation of holistically wealthy thinkers — who believe in equal rights and justice for all, as well as prosperity for all — not just an elite few and not just limited to one race.

We need to create holistically wealthy communities where citizens have equal rights and justice and where law enforcement treats everyone with dignity and respect, essentially what the Black Lives Matter movement has been advocating for.

The Way Forward – The Holistic Wealth Development Index:

In my book Holistic Wealth, I developed the Holistic Wealth Development Index. Here is an excerpt from the book:

"The Holistic Wealth Development approach is the counter theory we need in a time of urgent human problems and economic and social inequality. The Holistic Wealth Development Index is different from other approaches such as the Human Development reports put forward by the United Nations Development Programme as well as by other pioneers such as Martha Nussbaum in her book Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach. The Holistic Wealth Index is an approach centered in creating resilience after bouncing back from life-changing setbacks, which we all face at some point in life, but it also entails a comparative quality-of-life assessment. My approach is preoccupied not only with the Nussbaumian question of what a person is able to do and become in life but also with how it is possible for a person to bounce back from life-altering setbacks, and how society enables that for the good of all [hu]mankind".
This article contains excerpts from Holistic Wealth: 32 Life Lessons To Help You Find Purpose Prosperity and Happiness. Copyright @ Keisha Blair

How to Learn Much More From the Books You Read

It is one thing to read and another thing to understand what you are reading. Not only do you want to understand, but also remember what you've read. Otherwise, we can safely say that if we're not gaining anything from what we read, then it's a big waste of time.

Whatever you read, there are ways to do so in a more effective manner to help you understand better. Whether you are reading by choice, for an upcoming test, or work-related material, here are a few ways to help you improve your reading skills and retain that information.

Read with a Purpose

Never has there been a shortage of great books. So, someone recommended a great cookbook for you. You start going through it, but your mind is wandering. This doesn't mean the cookbook was an awful recommendation, but it does mean it doesn't suit nor fulfill your current needs or curiosity.

Maybe your purpose is more about launching a business. Maybe you're a busy mom and can't keep office hours, but there's something you can do from home to help bring in more money, so you want information about that. At that point, you won't benefit from a cookbook, but you could gain a lot of insight and find details here on how-to books about working from home. During this unprecedented year, millions have had to make the transition to work from home, and millions more are deciding to do that. Either way, it's not a transition that comes automatically or easily, but reading about it will inform you about what working from home entails.


When you pre-read it primes your brain when it's time to go over the full text. We pre-read by going over the subheadings, for instance, the table of contents, and skimming through some pages. This is especially useful when you have formal types of academic books. Pre-reading is a sort of warm-up exercise for your brain. It prepares your brain for the rest of the information that will come about and allows your brain to be better able to pick the most essential pieces of information you need from your chosen text.


Highlighting essential sentences or paragraphs is extremely helpful for retaining information. The problem, however, with highlighting is that we wind up highlighting way too much. This happens because we tend to highlight before we begin to understand. Before your pages become a neon of colored highlights, make sure that you only highlight what is essential to improve your understanding and not highlight the whole page.

Speed Read

You might think there have been no new ways to read, but even the ancient skill of reading comes up with innovative ways; enter speed reading. The standard slow process shouldn't affect your understanding, but it does kill your enthusiasm. The average adult goes through around 200 to 250 words per minute. A college student can read around 450 words, while a professor averages about 650 words per minute, to mention a few examples. The average speed reader can manage 1,500 words; quite a difference! Of course, the argument arises between quality and quantity. For avid readers, they want both quantity and quality, which leads us to the next point.

Quality Reading

Life is too short to expect to gain knowledge from just one type of genre. Some basic outcomes of reading are to expand your mind, perceive situations and events differently, expose yourself to other viewpoints, and more. If you only stick to one author and one type of material, you are missing out on a great opportunity to learn new things.

Having said that, if there's a book you are simply not enjoying, remember that life is also too short to continue reading it. Simply, close it, put it away and maybe give it another go later on, or give it away. There is no shame or guilt in not liking a book; even if it's from a favorite author. It's pretty much clear that you won't gain anything from a book that you don't even enjoy, let alone expect to learn something from it.


If you're able to summarize what you have read, then you have understood. When you summarize, you are bringing up all the major points that enhance your understanding. You can easily do so chapter by chapter.

Take a good look at your life and what's going on in it. Accordingly, you'll choose the material that is much more suitable for your situation and circumstances. When you read a piece of information that you find beneficial, look for a way to apply it to your life. Knowledge for the sake of knowledge isn't all that beneficial. But the application of knowledge from a helpful book is what will help you and make your life more interesting and more meaningful.