If you missed it, there was an extraordinary showcase of Traits of the most admirable, creative and joyous people on television this past Sunday morning (Nov. 28, 2010). ABC’s Christiane Amanpour spent an hour with five of the best human beings in America, talking about tackling some of our most vexing global problems.

The show was This Week, which is typically dedicated to political discussion and debate. But this episode focused on billionaires who have pledged to give more than half of their many billions to tackle the toughest problems we face. Four of the five are familiar faces: Warren Buffett, Bill and Melinda Gates and Ted Turner. The fifth was Tom Steyer, a hedge fund mogul and founder of San Francisco–based Farallon Capital.

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If Abraham Maslow is correct and only 1 percent of us are truly healthy psychologically, then we have to be alert to those who are.  Once you’re familiar with the 19 Traits that he identified, this 1% of extraordinary people are quite easy to spot.

For an example, you need look no further than a November 6th New York Times profile of Deborah Cavendish, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire.  It’s titled “A Duchess With a Common Touch,” and with that title alone you know that this person has at least one of the 19 Traits– she is egalitarian.

We quickly learn that this 90-year old aristocrat “transformed Chatsworth, one of the grandest of England’s grand houses from a museum-like relic into a family house and a self-sustaining business.”  Which of the Traits does the old Duchess exhibit?

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