There is no denying that we are living in tumultuous times. Political upheavals are racking seemingly every inhabited area and continent in the world, with the possible exceptions of Australia and the Indian subcontinent:
Famine in Nigeria, South Sudan, Yemen, and Somalia is threatening the lives 20 million people. This famine (the first declared by the UN in 6 years) is mostly due to ongoing combat in the region, not food availability issues;
The well-known rebellion in Syria has resulted in one of the worst humanitarian disasters in human history, with the refugee strain sending shockwaves throughout the world. Look no further to the rise of authoritarianism in Turkey due north of Syria to see proof of this;
In the rest of Asia, Russia seems to be flexing their muscles in every corner of the planet, presumably trying to re exert a Soviet-Era hegemony, or at least trying to rejoin the ranks of Global Superpowers. Southeast of Russia, North Korea is also flexing its muscles, keep the world on the edge of its seat. Plus South Korea’s President was recently ousted under corruption charges;
The EU is cracking under populist pressures, most notably with the so-called Brexit. But France, the Netherlands, and potentially Germany are experiencing a rise in nativist populism;
The United States of America is also undergoing a rise in nativist populism with the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency. Additional widespread chaos throughout the government is clear;
In South America, Venezuela has been experiencing nation-wide protests (both pro and anti government) for roughly three weeks now. These protests have turned violent and have resulted in the deaths of at least 24 people to date;
Oh, and Climate Change is still threatening the lives of every being on the planet. In fact, Climate Change is the driving impetus behind many of our current problems.
All of these atrocities represent problems – problems with solutions. None of these solutions can be truly described as easy, and most are inscrutable – at least at first. But there is a ray of hope, a glimmer of sunlight: we are also neck deep in a world-altering era of technological advancement and innovation.
Political upheavals cause massive problems around the planet, altering world orders and frequently leaving nothing but death and misery behind. However, technological innovation may very well help us solve them, saving potentially millions of lives and trillions of dollars which can then be applied to other causes. There’s a ton of precedent for this:
The innovation of Agriculture allowed cultures to support larger populations, leading eventually to concentrated political bodies, and eventually to the modern nation-state;
The Age of Exploration and The Enlightenment walk hand-in-hand, both driven by the scientific discoveries of Da Vinci, Galileo, and (admittedly later) Darwin, and the advancements in shipbuilding (leading to the discovery of the New World);
Antibiotics dramatically increased the lifespan of the average person and have given us the ability to fight back against our age-old enemies (and occasional ally): Germs;
And we find ourselves back in the modern era, with digital devices changing everything from governance to healthcare. The general thrust of this post is to clearly make the case that yes, the world is not in great shape right now, but now is not the time to sit back on one’s laurels. The problems exist – now it’s time to be proactive and to create the solution.
Invest in Yourself
The first, last, and biggest any individual has is themselves. Yes, this is a cheesy sentiment, but it’s still true. Still skeptical? Warren Buffett, the legendary gajillionaire (that’s the official term there, folks), once said:
“Invest in as much of yourself as you can, you are your own biggest asset by far.”
In other words, the biggest resource you have is to trust in yourself and to pursue your dreams. At no time in the world has it been easier to affect massive change in the world with a small movement. Not only that, but technology has served as an equalizer in the entrepreneurial world; i.e. the technology to create a potentially billion-dollar company is easily accessed – and (relatively) inexpensive.
While Mr. Buffett was talking more generally about investing in improving your skills, his point can be readily applied to investing in your ideas. Even if you don’t have the technological know-how to achieve your dreams, the solution may be a click away. Companies like SDI specialize in taking the spark of an entrepreneurial idea and turning it into a living dream. Before we go, there another quote (often misattributed to Ghandi) we’d like to leave you with:
“Be the change you want to see in the world.”
While this quote has graced many a bumper sticker and is pretty cliche, it does nicely play us out. There are many problems in the world, but the solution starts with us.
Give us a call at 408.802.2885/408.621.8481 – or click to contact us!