What is it that motivates me to do something that is not an "economic" decision? When I want something that "money can't buy", for example, friendship, love, emotional connection, understanding, interaction with others, sensory stimulation (going for a walk just to see, smell, hear, touch, taste, etc.).
I often imagine what the world looks like through another person's eyes.
When I see someone struggling, I tell myself, "That could be me." Why?
My ability to imagine the world from another person's perspective helps
me be compassionate, understanding, caring. There are those that have
the ability to imagine another person's world, and those that have, in
their own lifetimes, experienced themselves similar situations. During
the Great Depression of the 1930's, many people experienced the
helplessness and "out of control" experience of losing a job, losing
wealth, going hungry, struggling to stay alive. Some of those people,
when their life situations improved, remembered what it was like, and
when they saw someone experiencing what they had experienced, they were
able to be more compassionate.
What are examples of systems, outside of the economic system, that
influence my behavior? I often tell myself, "There but for the grace of
God go I," or "in another universe, another lifetime, that could have
been me, and how would I have wanted someone to treat me." And there is,
"do unto others as you would have them do unto me" (and the related
"platinum rule" etc.).
I am drawn back to the question of the intersection of
meta-organizations (economic systems versus religious systems, economic
systems versus government systems, religious systems versus government
systems, cultural systems versus economic systems versus religious
systems versus government systems versus education systems versus ...).
Another example for a story: Wealthy people, at random, loose some or
all of their wealth, and it is given, at random, to less wealthy people.
The wealthy people are chosen at random, weighted by their wealth, as if
each dollar had the same chance of being chosen, so that someone who was
twice as wealthy had twice the chance of losing a dollar (uniformly
distributed across dollars). And people to whom the dollars were given
were chosen, at random, where the chance of being chosen was equal for
every person (uniformly distributed across people).
Another story: The number of children created from your DNA is
proportional to your "value" as measured by the people who choose what
DNA to use to create a child. Would anyone choose not to use their own
DNA when creating their own child? Someone else's child? A child for the community? Adoptive parents do this.
Corollary stories: Your DNA is used to create children in proportion to
your wealth. Your DNA is used to create children in proportion to how
long you live. Your DNA is used to create children in proportion to how
others perceive your "prestige" or some measure of value to the community.