My Prayer for the United States of America
This morning, I have one prayer for our country:
That we find ways to collaborate and respect each other, recognizing that political differences are superficial, especially when compared to what is possible.
I also pray that we recognize much of the turmoil in this country is about change. Upwards of 48% of our workers characterize themselves as underemployed.
That means that about half of our country’s workers are being kicked to the curb by change. With so many underemployed workers in our midst, of course many will buy into the notion, “there isn’t enough.” Our tone and our outlook transform when we commit our lives to produce enough for everyone.
We would have to go all the way back to John F. Kennedy to find a political leader with the courage to tell the truth rather than manipulate their fears or create political campaigns from focus groups. And yes, he was a deeply imperfect leader. But, he consistently told Americans that we were responsible for our lives. He never said he would take care of us. He didn’t trade on hope. In fact, he inspired millions of people to become engaged in service and to take action in solving challenges throughout the world.
Kennedy would probably tell us that self-change is learnable. He would offer a differing vantage point. Technology is offering us freedom from tasks. The rate of change especially in any work that involves tasks, will increase. It is our responsibility to not only keep up with change, but to produce change as well. Find what you were born to do. Go find the problem you really want to solve.
The industrial revolution gave us a promise. That if we accepted rote and monotonous work we would be rewarded with predictability and survival. The rewards for letting go of predictability and survival is freedom. That is what technology is giving us. How do we move boldly into the future?
Become active learners. Grow what you know every single day. The payoff for continual learning is growth and that is also where we find today’s security. And, listen. The biggest payoff of all is in growing into better versions of ourselves every-single-day.
Learn how to connect with others fluidly, harmoniously, and effectively. Recognize that drawing attention to ourselves can be quite uncomfortable, at first. But, the source of our failures is rooted in isolation. Some of the most isolated people I have met sit in rooms packed full of people in the same boat. But, we learn nothing of value by studying dysfunction. Pay attention to those who are succeeding, the more wildly successful, the better. If you cannot do this for yourself, do it for your children because they will not do what you tell them to do. They will do what you do.
Rather than responding to these suggestions with cynicism and contempt, try them on for a bit, just like clothes. See where the suggestions take you. At that point, if the results don’t suit you, either find someone to help you get over a hurdle or try something else.
There are plenty of people who want to help you, even if it takes a little courage to find them.
Lest any of my readers think my missive is “pie in the sky,” consider the fact that underemployment is virtually unheard of in countries such as Germany. Employers, educational resources and government work hand-in-hand to keep workers competitive and up-to-date. For example, in manufacturing, there are rarely layoffs. We find assembly lines filled with technology and robotics. We also find employees working beside them. Common sense has dictated they always are treated as assets. So, they are retrained to become problem solvers, to use the technology to become even more masterful with their results.
Here, we lay people off the moment they become obsolete.
So, I suggest that anyone who is having difficulty with underemployment to stop waiting for something to change out there.
Nothing short of full self-change is in order and every aspect of how to do this is learnable.
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